Iran to probe abduction of diplomat in Yemen

Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:16 PM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The Iranian government announced plans to send its representatives to Yemen next week to investigate the kidnapping of one of its diplomats.

The official Yemen news agency Saba said an Iranian diplomat was abducted from the Iranian Embassy in Sanaa in late July

Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported Friday it had assurances from Yemen that every effort was being made to secure the release of Nor Ahmad Nikbakht, a staff member at Iran's embassy in Yemen.

There was no corresponding official statement from the Yemeni government. Saba said efforts were under way to secure the release of two Dutch nationals following talks in Sanaa with Dutch Ambassador to Yemen Jeroen Verheul.

Iran and Yemen are historic adversaries. A May report from Yemen's news agency said the government suspected Iran was contributing to its internal crises and "seeking to stir up trouble."

Fars reports the Yemeni government told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif it was "optimistic" the Iranian diplomat would be released soon. An Iranian delegation was to head to Yemen Monday.

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