Ambassador calls on UN chief to pursue case of abducted Iranian diplomats

July 7, 2020 - 16:25

TEHRAN — Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, on Monday called on United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to help find four Iranian diplomats who were kidnapped in Lebanon in 1982.

On July 4, 1982, Ahmad Motavasselian, Mohsen Mousavi and Taqi Rastgar-Moqaddam, three diplomats of the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon, along with Kazem Akhavan, IRNA’s photojournalist were held captive by the Lebanese Phalange forces on their way to work on the route of Tripoli-Beirut.

In a letter on the 38th anniversary of the abduction, Takht-Ravanchi wrote a letter to Guterres saying based on reports the diplomats were handed over to the Zionist regime forces immediately after they were kidnapped near Beirut in an area which was occupied by Israel.

Further evidence shows that they have been held in Israeli prisons and are still alive, Takht-Ravanchi said, according to IRNA.

He highlighted the significance of the humanitarian issue, and referred to Iran’s suggestion to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with regard to forming a fact-finding committee to probe into the issue.

The Iranian envoy also urged the UN chief to support the committee's activities.

Referring to the fact that kidnapping Iranian diplomats is a blatant violation of international law, Takht-Ravanchi underscored the UN’s responsibility to address the issue.  

Elsewhere in his remarks, the ambassador pointed to the Lebanese government's cooperation, reminding that Lebanon had officially called on the UN secretary general to shed light on the fate of the kidnapped diplomats.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued a statement saying evidence suggests that the diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon were handed over to the forces of the Zionist regime of Israel and then taken to the occupied territories and that they are now being held in the prisons of this regime.

“Thirty-eight years have passed since the kidnapping of four Iranian diplomats, Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, Ahmad Motevasselian, Kazem Akhavan and Taghi Rastegar, by mercenaries of the Zionist regime of Israel at the al-Barbareh checkpoint in northern Lebanon back in 1982,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry pointed out that Lebanon was occupied by the Zionist regime at the time with the full support of the United States, adding that Iran holds the Zionist regime and its supporters politically and legally responsible for their kidnapping which was a terrorist act.

The statement also criticized the international community for failing to take any serious action with regard to the crime.

It went on to say that the Zionist regime keeps committing crimes and its acts are in breach of international regulations and continues to shirk responsibility for the issue.

MH/PA

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