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News Brief — May 31, 2016

Four captive Iranians
According to a recent report in Iran’s Fars News, a Greek prisoner who was recently released from an Israeli jail claims that while in custody he encountered three Iranian diplomats and an Iranian journalist who were also being held.
Upon his release and return to Greece, the former Israeli prisoner informed the Iranian embassy in Athens that the four were being held in Israel.
They were originally kidnapped in July 1982 during the 1982 Lebanon War, when Israeli forces seized southern Lebanon. Their abduction was reportedly carried out by local phalange militia, who were allied with the IDF at the time and who allegedly handed them over to their Israeli allies.
For its part Israel claims the four were executed by the Phalange militia shortly after their abduction.
However, a report first published by the Arabic-language al-Rai al-Youm and reiterated by Fars News lends credence to claims that the four are being held hostage by Israel.
According to Palestinian activist Ahmad Habibollah Abu Hesham, who had been detained for many years in Israeli jails, the four Iranians were being held in Israel’s Atlit prison.
Despite Israeli denials, Tehran remains adamant that the four are still alive and being held captive. All of which begs the question why? What could Israel possibly gain from holding four Iranians hostage for more than thirty years?
Could it be that the Zionist regime views the Iranians as valuable assets, who can be used as bargaining chips in a trade-off if any Israeli saboteurs or IDF Special Forces soldiers were captured in Iran?
Whatever the reason if Islamic State did this it would rightly be called “terrorism”. When Israel does it though it’s kept secret, the hostages are hidden away and the Zionist state denies any knowledge of them. Because if it was revealed that Israel has been holding the four, innocent of any crime, it would clearly justify claims that Zionist state is a terrorist entity.
After all, kidnapping and holding innocent people hostage is exactly the sort of activity we associate with terrorists, not those who are allegedly fighting terror.
These latest reports follow an announcement by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan that Iran is in possession of corroborative evidence proving that the four men abducted in Lebanon in 1982 are still alive and being held by Israel.
“We claim on the basis of proofs that they are alive and held captivate by the Zionist regime,” General Dehqan said in a recent interview with Defa Press news website.