Kuwaiti paper: In deal, Iran will learn fate of missing diplomats; so far report is unconfirmed.
Twenty-seven years after IAF navigator Ron Arad was taken as a prisoner of war by the Lebanese Shi’ite group Amal, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported Wednesday that a deal was coalescing by which Israel would be given new information on Arad in exchange for Iran receiving information on four Iranian diplomats who went missing near Beirut during Lebanon’s civil war in 1982.
According to the report in Al-Siyasa, which quotes Western intelligence sources, the respective sides will be informed in the coming weeks whether Arad and the four Iranians are still alive, or conversely, where they are buried. The recent talks between Iran and the US has opened the way to a possible deal, according to the sources.
The report has not been confirmed by other sources.
On October 16, 1986, during an IAF mission to hit terrorist targets in the Lebanese city of Sidon, Arad and his pilot evacuated their plane due to a technical failure. The pilot, Yishai Aviram, was found and rescued by the IAF while Arad was taken prisoner.
During his imprisonment, three letters and one picture were sent to Israel.
However, no contact has been made since 1987, when the Red Cross was last given access to Arad.
Al-Siyasa reported that the deal became possible due to new information on Arad given to Western intelligence officials by Hussein Musawi, the brother of one of the four missing Iranian diplomats.
A former Iranian Foreign Ministry official, Musawi is believed to be one of the few people who know the fate of Arad.
In an interesting twist, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech on Monday that the group had to deal with the missing persons, including the four Iranian diplomats.
“There are 17,000 missing persons due to the Israeli occupation, including the four Iranian diplomats along with other people during the Lebanese war,” he said.