“The Iranian foreign ministry reiterates its proposal for the formation of an international fact-finding committee to clarify the dimensions of this issue and expects the UN chief, the International Red Cross and other human rights institutes to act upon their legal and moral responsibilities to pursue the situation of the four diplomats of the Islamic Republic of Iran and their freedom,” the statement said on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the abduction of the Iranian diplomats.
“We hope to witness soon the freedom of all prisoners and captives jailed by the Zionist regime, specially the four dear diplomats of our country, from the regime’s prisons,” it added.
The then charge d’affaires of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut Seyed Mohsen Mousavi, military attaché Ahmad Motevaselian, embassy technician Taghi Rastegar Moghadam and journalist of the Islamic republic news agency Kazzem Akhavan were kidnapped by the Lebanese mercenary army – also known as the Falangists – at gunpoint in Northern Lebanon in 1982 and were later handed over to Israeli army.
Israel has released contradictory reports on the issue. The Zionist regime alleged in a statement last year that the diplomats had never been surrendered to Israel. Elsewhere it claimed in response to a request put forward by the Lebanese Hezbollah group that the four are already dead.
In January 2009, the then Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said that Iran had received a report from the Zionist regime which said the kidnapped Iranian diplomats had not been transferred to Tel Aviv and laid the blame on the Lebanese mercenary army affiliated with Israel.
In reaction to the report, the spokesman said at the time that the report “will not relieve the Zionist regime of its responsibility” for the healthiness and safe repatriation of the diplomats.