Three states promise to help release Iranian pilgrims in Syria
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates Affairs Hassan Qashqavi broke the news on Monday saying that Iran’s “diplomatic apparatus is still pursuing the fate of the abducted Iranian pilgrims in Syria.”
“Following the threats posed by the Syrian abductors [of the pilgrims], the [Iranian] Foreign Minister [Ali Akbar Salehi] called his Syrian, Qatari and Turkish counterparts and asked them to do their utmost to stop these people [abductors] from carrying out their threats against our nationals,” Qashqavi told reporters in Tehran on Monday.
On August 4, 48 Iranian pilgrims who were traveling on a bus from the Damascus International Airport to the shrine of Hazrat Zainab (AS) on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, were abducted by foreign-backed members of the terrorist Free Syrian Army (FSA).
In a video aired by the Saudi-owned television network Al-Arabiya this week, the insurgents threatened to kill all of the Iranian abductees if the Syrian government did not release captured anti-government insurgents and if it did not stop operations against armed groups in the country within 48 hours.
Qashqavi noted that after Salehi’s phone call, Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim al-Thani urged the Syrian insurgents not to kill the Iranian pilgrims in an interview with Al Jazeera television.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister added that fortunately there has not been any news about abductors carrying out their threats against the Iranian pilgrims.
Thousands of people have been killed since the Syrian unrest started in March 2011.
Damascus says ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists’ are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces for the killings.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey of arming the opposition.
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