Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, expressed Tehran's deep concern over the fate of its abducted diplomat and border guards, and called for more international efforts to accelerate their safe release.

Hereunder is the full text of the Iranian foreign minister's letter to the UN Chief:

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

March 26, 2014

Excellency,

I have the unpleasant duty to draw your attention to the shocking news about the possible murder of one of the five Iranian border guards abducted on February 7, 2014 by an extremist terrorist group, in the border area between Iran and Pakistan. This is the latest in a series of similar terrorist atrocities against Iranian citizens, including diplomats and other officials and innocent civilians of Iranian and other nationalities, which include:

Repeated explosions and terrorist attacks in our Eastern border in recent months, which have resulted in the murder of at least 12 soldiers;

Two car-bomb attacks on the Iranian diplomatic and cultural premises in Beirut on 19 November 2013 and 19 February 2014, killing one diplomat and a dozen security guards and many Lebanese civilian bystanders;

Abduction and murder of Iranian diplomatic personnel in Sana’a, including kidnapping of an Iranian diplomat, Mr. Nour-Ahmad Nikbakht, on July 21, 2013, and brutal assassination of another, Mr. Abolqassem Assadi, on January 18, 2014; and

Suicide attack on the Iranian Consulate-General in Peshawar, on February 25, 2014, killing two security guards and injuring many innocent Pakistani bystanders.

It is extremely regrettable that all available evidence indicate that these cowardly acts of terror targeting the Islamic Republic of Iran and its citizens have been perpetrated by State-sponsored extremist groups, with similar patterns of funding, coordination, support and direction. The entire international community should be alarmed by the regional and extra-regional ramifications of sectarian tension and extremist violence, which are being systematically organized, sponsored and orchestrated in various parts of our region. In fact, learning from recent history, a sober assessment of the medium and long-term implications of this dangerous trend will show that the very sponsors of such hatred, who for ill-conceived interests have hastily resorted to such short-sighted tactics to remedy their strategic miscalculations and failures, stand to lose the most from the sectarian and extremist violence that they are spreading.

Moreover, there is very little doubt concerning the inherent and reinforcing interrelationship in our region between perpetual war economy, extremist violence and terrorism on the one side, and drug trafficking and transnational organized crime on the other. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been in the forefront of the global campaign against drug trafficking, with narcotic seizures by Iran amounting to over three quarters of the entire confiscations throughout the world. Being in the first line of defense against this global menace has cost Iran dearly in blood and treasure, without any meaningful international cooperation to share the cost, provide technological assistance, or at least take a resolute stance against those who have exacted a heavy toll on Iran, its innocent civilians and brave soldiers. While our sacrifices help protect the entire humanity from the scourge of narcotics, the international community is simply not doing enough to help Iran in this never-ending struggle. Mere condemnation of acts of terrorism does not suffice.

In the last few days, all Iranians celebrated Nowruz -- recognized by the General Assembly as an international day of peace, neighborliness and solidarity -- sharing the sense of grief and desperate anticipation of the families and loved ones of these national heroes. While noting the efforts of the Governments of Pakistan, Lebanon, and Yemen, our hostages remain in captivity and the perpetrators of previous crimes have yet to face justice. The Iranian people have every right to demand more resolute global action, yielding practical results in bringing their hostages back home and in bringing to justice those responsible for the murder of their compatriots. A manifestation of this legitimate demand can be seen in the grass root one-million signature campaign organized by the Iranian youth, from all walks of life, calling upon you and other national and international authorities to take stronger measures to secure the early and safe return of their hostages. Through this letter, I join them in their dignified appeal to the global community.

I will be grateful, if you have this letter circulated as a document of the General Assembly, Security Council and the Human Rights Council.

M. Javad Zarif

Minister for Foreign Affairs

On Monday night, the Iranian Interior Ministry confirmed the reports that Jeish al-Adl terrorist group has killed one of the five Iranian border guards who were abducted early in February in Southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan and immediately were transferred to Pakistan.

In July 2013, unknown assailants abducted the Iranian embassy staff member, Nikbakht, in Safr street in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

Abolqassem Assadi, 57, financial and consulate officer of Iran's Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, was another Iranian diplomat assassinated by gunmen in the center of the city on January 18.
 

News Code 186446