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News number: 8804270921

14:53 | 2009-07-18

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Nasrallah Asks Lebanese Gov't to Follow Iranian Diplomats' Case

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hezbollah Secretary General Seyed Hassan Nasrallah called on the new Lebanese government to increase efforts to set Arab inmates free from Israeli prisons and pursue the case with the four Iranian diplomats who were abducted in Lebanon in 1982 to specify their fate.



"There is also the issue of the four Iranian diplomats, as they were a number of diplomats who disappeared from the Lebanese soil and we are responsible for them," Nasrallah said in a televised address on Friday marking the 1st anniversary of al-Radwan operation, the prisoner swap operation which led to the release of five Israeli-held Lebanese in exchange for the remains of two dead Israeli soldiers last year.

Nasrallah called for an immediate release of the Arab inmates from Israeli prisons, saying the issue with a large number of Palestinians and Arabs still kept in Israeli jails is "similar to the continued occupation of Quds by the Israeli regime and even worse than that".

The four Iranian diplomats went missing in Lebanon in 1982 during an Israeli invasion of the country.

Seyed Mohsen Mousavi, then charge d'affaires of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, military attaché Ahmad Motevaselian, embassy technician Taghi Rastegar Moghadam and journalist of the Islamic republic news agency Kazem Akhavan were kidnapped by the Lebanese mercenary army - also known as the Falangists - at a 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 earlier this 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.

Earlier in January, the 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.

"The report will not remove the responsibility of the Zionist regime," the spokesman added at the time.