The Iranian Foreign Ministry says it is following up on the case of Lebanese Shia leader Imam Moussa al-Sadr, who went missing in Libya in 1978.
“Imam Moussa al-Sadr is known as a great character in the Muslim world and we merely hope that his fate will be determined,” Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said on Monday.
He made the remarks after Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi reportedly confessed in a video to Sadr’s presence in the crisis-hit North African country, IRNA reported.
It is widely believed in Sadr, the founder of the Lebanon’s Amal movement, was kidnapped on the orders of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in August 1978.
Accompanied by two of his companions, Mohammed Yaqoub and Abbas Badreddin, Sadr was scheduled to meet with officials from the Gaddafi regime.
At the time, Libyan authorities claimed that the influential cleric and his colleagues had caught a flight to Rome. However, Italian officials said the three men were never onboard the plane.
In 2008, the government in Beirut issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi over Sadr’s disappearance.
Born in the holy city of Qom in 1929, Sadr went to Lebanon to work for the civil rights of Shias in the southern city of Tyre in 1959.
Most of Sadr’s followers are convinced that Gaddafi ordered his assassination in a dispute over Libyan payments to Lebanese groups, but the Imam’s family argues he could still be alive in a Libyan prison.