BEIRUT: The four Iranians kidnapped in Lebanon nearly three decades ago are alive and being held in Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said.
“Regarding the four abducted Iranian diplomats, there are documents [that show] they are alive and in the hands of the Zionist Regime [of Israel],” Ahmadinejad is quoted by Iran’s Fars News Agency as telling U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a meeting in New York Saturday.
“It is therefore expected of the U.N. Secretary General to take serious measures for their release,” Ahmadinejad said.
During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, three Iranian diplomats, Mohsen Mousavi, Ahmad Motevaselian and Taghi Rastegar Moghadam, along with an Iranian photographer, Kazem Akhavan, disappeared in Lebanon.
In June, Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi said the four men are still alive and possibly imprisoned in Israeli jails. He urged the Lebanese government to seriously follow up on the issue.
The diplomats were last heard of in June 2008, when Hezbollah said it had received a report indicating that they were alive and held in Israel.
Israel claims that the four diplomats were abducted by a Lebanese militant group and were killed shortly after their abduction.