Publishe Date: 2:41 PM - 1/5/2014 | Print

Iran Reiterates Call for Int'l Action against Terrorism

Politics - Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham voiced Tehran's deep concern about the increasing spread of the evil phenomenon of terrorism around the world, and urged the world countries and international bodies to have a united front to this end.

Speaking on Saturday, Afkham urged the international community to devise a legal mechanism to identify and punish all terrorists as well as their sponsors, and called on all governments to work together closely to eliminate the scourge of terrorism.

The Iranian official referred to the suspicious death of al-Qaeda-linked Saudi terrorist Majed al-Majed, and said Tehran, which has borne the brunt of the bombing, reserves the right to push ahead with its call for the masterminds and perpetrators behind the terrorist attack to be identified and punished.

“(Majed’s death) will not shake Iran’s resolve to follow up on the terrorist attack outside the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Embassy in Beirut through legal and international channels,” she added.

On Tuesday, the Lebanese security forces said they have arrested Majed al-Majed, the Saudi ringleader of Abdullah Azzam Brigade which has claimed responsibility for the November 19 bombings in front of Tehran’s embassy in Beirut, which left 23 dead, including cultural attaché Ebrahim Ansari.

On Saturday, a Lebanese army General, who spoke on the conditions of anonymity in line with regulations, said Al-Majed died in custody in Lebanon.

The General said Al-Majed died on Saturday after suffering kidney failure.

Al-Majed, a Saudi citizen was detained in Lebanon late last month and had been held at a secret location. According to Islamist websites, al-Majed was announced as leader of the Brigades in 2012.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades was formed in 2009 and is believed to have branches in both the Arabian Peninsula and Lebanon, but may have been active as early as 2004.

The reports came two days after a Lebanese minister told AFP that al-Majed had been arrested by the army's intelligence services, although no official statement has yet been issued over the detention.

According to Lebanese state media, officials confirmed the suspect's identity through DNA testing.

"Al-Majed's DNA was compared with those of his cousin, which confirmed his identity," NNA reported.

Then in a shocking revelation on Thursday, Lebanese sources disclosed that Majed had taken orders from Saudi Spy Chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Lebanese information sources said that they have found information linking Majed al-Majed, the Saudi commander of the al-Qaeda affiliated group Abdullah Azzam Brigades who claimed responsibility for the attack to the Saudi spy chief.

A few hours later on Thursday, the Iranian embassy in Beirut requested access to the investigation into the double suicide bombing.

"The (caretaker) Foreign Ministry received a memo from Iranian authorities in which they asked to stay informed about the investigation with al-Majed, considering that the explosion took place on an Iranian soil," caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour told LBCI television.

For its part, the Lebanese news site Naharnet reported that Iran's Ambassador to Lebanon Qazanfar Roknabadi announced that an Iranian intelligence delegation participated in inspecting the scene of the explosion near the embassy in Beirut's Southern suburbs.

"Both Lebanese and Iranian authorities agreed that Iran will take part in the investigation," the Iranian ambassador said.

In 2009, Lebanon sentenced Majed in absentia to life in prison for belonging to a different extremist group, the Al-Qaeda-inspired Fatah al-Islam.

On Saturday, senior parliamentary officials in Tehran disclosed that Saudi Arabia had offered to pay $3bln to the Lebanese government in return for the extradition of Al-Majed, the suspected head of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades – Ziad al-Jarrah Battalion, that claimed responsibility for the November attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut which killed 23 people.

“The Saudi government has considered $3bln for the extradition of the individual behind the Iranian embassy blast in Lebanon, indicating that the remarks he might make are vitally important for the Saudi government,” Vice-Chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haqiqatpour told FNA on Saturday.

“Saudi Arabia has demanded Lebanon to extradite Majed in return for $3bln,” he reiterated.

Haqiqatpour also underlined that Tehran is entitled to file a lawsuit at the UN against Saudi Arabia because the mid November attack was conducted on the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

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