RNA - The foreign ministry's statement was issued on the 37th anniversary of the abduction of four Iranian diplomats in Lebanon by the agents of Tel Aviv's regime.
Friday, July 5, 2019, is the 37th anniversary of the abduction of four Iranian diplomats, Seyyed Mohsen Moussavi, Ahmad Motevasselian, Kazzem Akhavan and Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam, by the mercenaries of the Zionist regime of Israel in Barbara checkpoint in Northern Lebanon in 1982.
"As announced on numerous occasions over the past years, evidence clearly shows that the abducted Iranian diplomats have been handed over to the occupying forces of the Zionist regime and consequently transferred to the occupied territories, and are now held in the illegitimate regime’s prisons," part of the statement said.
It noted that given the fact that Lebanon was under the US-backed Israeli occupation at that time, the Islamic Republic of Iran holds the Zionist regime and its sponsors legally and politically responsible for the abduction and the terrorist move.
"Many years after the criminal and terrorist move, unfortunately the international community and the self-proclaimed advocates of human rights have failed to adopt any serious measure against the crime, and the Zionist regime backed by the US is continuing its crimes and measures against the international law, and evades responsibility for this case," it added.
The statements said that the Islamic Republic of Iran pays gratitude to the Lebanese government for its cooperation and related measures to find out the fate of the abducted diplomats – including its letter to then UN chief in September 2008 – and once again calls on the Lebanese officials as well as the Secretary General of the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other related international bodies to fulfill their natural, legal and humanitarian duty to follow up the issue and do whatever in their power to learn of the fate of the abducted Iranian diplomats.
"To this end, the Islamic Republic once again underlines its previous proposal that a fact-finding committee is formed by the International Committee of the Red Cross to follow up the issue," the statement said.
It went on to say that the Iranian foreign ministry commemorates the memory of the abducted diplomats, and insists on continuing its efforts to learn about the fate of the kidnapped diplomats.
"It also expresses sympathy with their families who have undergone much suffering during the past years waiting for their loved-ones’ return to the Islamic homeland," the statement added.
The Iranian foreign ministry, meantime, expressed the hope that all the captives and prisoners held in the jails of the Zionist regime, "particularly the dear Iranian diplomats", would be freed and return to Iran soon.
The then charge d'affaires of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut Seyyed Mohsen Moussavi, military attaché Ahmad Motevasselian, embassy technician Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam 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.
According to Fars News Agancy, 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.