Iranian abductees to recount ordeal

Iranian citizens who were kidnapped in Syria in August and released last week arrive at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport on January 10, 2013.

An Iranian MP says some of the 48 Iranian citizens who were kidnapped in Syria in August and released last week will appear before the Majlis (parliament) in the next few days to deliver reports about the ordeal they went through at the hands of foreign-sponsored Syrian militants.

MP Seyyed Baqer Hosseini, who is a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Saturday that the abductees will give accounts about their days in captivity to parliamentarians, and the legislators will hold a ceremony to honor them for their resistance.

Forty-eight Iranian citizens, who were kidnapped by foreign-backed armed militants in Syria several months ago, arrived at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport on the afternoon of Thursday, January 10.

The abductees arrived in Tehran, a day after they were released in a swap deal between the Syrian government and armed militants.

The Iranian citizens, who were traveling on a bus from Damascus International Airport to the shrine of Hazrat Zainab (AS), which is located on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, were abducted by the militants on August 4, 2012.

In a video aired by the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television network, the militants threatened to kill all the Iranian abductees if the Syrian government did not release militants who were captured and did not halt operations against armed groups within 48 hours. However, the threat was never carried out.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.