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Iran urges UN action on Asgari case

Iran’s caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has urged the United Nations to help determine the fate of an Iranian national who reportedly died in an Israeli prison.

Ali-Reza Asgari, a former deputy defense minister, mysteriously disappeared in Turkey in 2007. He was believed to have been abducted and transferred to Israel.

A Ynet report on Tuesday stated that a prisoner had committed suicide in solitary confinement in Israel’s Ayalon prison.

The Eurasia Review website claimed that a source within the “inner circle” of the Israeli Defense Ministry had identified the prisoner as Asgari and that his death could have been murder and not suicide.

“Publication of such reports strengthens suspicions over the abduction of aforementioned individual [Asgari] by the Zionist regime [of Israel],” Salehi said in a message to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday.

Salehi said Israel must therefore be held accountable for the health and safety of the former Iranian deputy defense minister, a Foreign Ministry statement added.

Asgari’s abduction has taken place “against all recognized principles of international law and is an explicit example of the Zionist regime’s state terrorism,” the Iranian official said.

The matter calls for proper reaction from the international community especially from institutions responsible for maintaining international peace and security, Salehi added.

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