TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - In a statement released on Friday, the Foreign Ministry marked the 37th anniversary of the abduction of the four diplomats, namely Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, Ahmad Motevasselian, Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam and Kazem Akhavan.
“As it has been mentioned over the past years, evidence indicates that the diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon have been handed over to the occupying forces of the Zionist regime and subsequently transferred to the occupied territories and now, are held in prisons of this illegitimate regime,” the statement said.
“Accordingly and given the occupation of Lebanon at that time by the Zionist regime with the full support of the US, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the political and legal responsibility for the abduction and this terrorist action lies with the Zionist regime and its supporters,” the Foreign Ministry noted.
On July 4, 1982, the four Iranian diplomats were kidnapped by a group of Israeli-backed gunmen at an inspection post in northern Lebanon.
In September 2008, the Lebanese government sent a letter to the then UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in which Beirut confirmed the abduction of the Iranian diplomats in the Lebanese territory and called for UN action to pursue the case.
Israel has claimed that the Iranian diplomats were abducted by a Lebanese militant group and killed shortly after their abduction.
The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has, however, said that it has evidence that they are still alive and in Israeli captivity.