Kharazi in Beirut to discuss fate of missing Iranian diplomats
Lebanon-Iran, Politics, 2/6/2004
The Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharazi, arrived yesterday in Beirut accompanied by families of four Iranian diplomats missing since 1982, that Tehran thinks are being held in Israel.
Upon his arrival at Beirut's airport, Kharazi said that the main aim of his visit is to follow up the file of the four Iranians who were kidnapped in Lebanon some 22 years ago in a Christian controlled area by a Christian organization linked to Israel.
Kharazi stressed that he has information that the four Iranians were taken to Israel. He added "we do hope after the exchange operation of prisoners, with Israel to release large number of Lebanese and Palestinians and other detainees from other nationalities, that the turn of the Iranians will come soon." For its part, the Iranian news agency quoted the Lebanese minister of state for administrative development, Karim Baqradouni, saying that the Lebanese have sensitive information concerning the fate of the Iranian diplomats and they will convey this information to Kharazai.
The Lebanese minister who presides over the Phanalagists party refused to disclose the nature of these information which he said are top secret, and relate to the second phase of talks and contacts between Lebanon and Israel over the exchange of prisoners.
Baqradouni did not explain whether the Iranian diplomats are dead or alive. He added "I do hope that the second round of talks on the exchange of prisoners will permit the disclosure of the fate of the four kidnapped diplomats, definitely." During his two- day visit to Lebanon, Kharazi will be meeting with the Lebanese leaders and the secretary general of the Lebanese Hizbullah party, Sheikh Hassan Nasrullah.
The four diplomats Iran seeks to know their fate are the charge de affairs in Beirut, Mohsin Mousawi; the diplomat Taqi Rastghar, the military attache Ahmad Mtuselyan,and photographer Irena Kazem Akhfan.
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Lebanese- Iranian cooperation relations highlighted
Nasrullah considers Israel's keeping of al-Qintar is foolish act; Lebanese captives are welcomed as heroes
Smaha describes captives exchange with Israel as a great achievement
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