Publishe Date: 6:32 PM - 12/26/2013 | Print

Iran Plans to Send Delegation to Yemen to Pursue Fate of Abducted Diplomat

Politics - Tehran will soon send a diplomatic delegation to Yemen to pursue the fate of its kidnapped diplomat, Nour-Ahmad Nikbakht, the Foreign Ministry announced.

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham announced on Wednesday that the Iran will dispatch a task force to Yemen later this week to pursue Nikbakht’s fate.

She said the Iranian delegation would visit Yemen within the next two days to investigate the fate of Nikbakht following a phone conversation between Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Yemeni counterpart Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Qirbi on December 16.

During the telephone call, Zarif expressed Tehran’s deep concern over the fate of Nikbakht.

On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Nikbakht, who was kidnapped in Sana'a late in July, is in good health, and underlined Tehran's resolve to pursue his fate through diplomatic channels.

"Based on the available records, Nikbakht is in full health and Tehran-Sana'a joint efforts to secure his release are underway," he said.

"We expect Yemeni officials to speed up their efforts to this end," Amir Abdollahian added.

Last Tuesday, Afkham said that the ministry summoned the Yemeni charge d’affaires to Tehran to explain about the fate of Nikbakht.

Unknown assailants abducted the Iranian embassy staff member, Nikbakht, in Safr street in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, in late July.

In October, Iran called on Yemeni parliamentarians to seriously pursue the case with its abducted diplomat and shed light on his fate.

During a meeting with a visiting Yemeni parliamentary delegation in Tehran at the time, Amir Abdollahian noted that the Iranian officials, media, and public opinion are awaiting the official results of Yemen’s probe into the abduction case.

He further hailed the efforts exerted by the Yemeni government to ensure the release of Nikbakht, and called for more serious efforts of the Yemeni officials to this end.

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