TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (MNA) - Khalil Hamdan, a member of the Amal presiding board, has said that Lebanon believes Imam Musa al-Sadr, an Iranian-born Shia cleric who vanished without a trace in Libya in 1978, is still alive and is in Libya.

Hamdan, who arrived in Tehran on August 26 at the head of a Lebanese delegation, made the remarks during an interview with the Mehr News Agency published on Monday.

In August 1978, al-Sadr departed for Libya with two companions to meet officials of Qaddafi’s government. They were never heard from again, and many believe they met with foul play at the hands of Qaddafi.

In August 2008, Lebanon issued an arrest warrant for Qaddafi and 11 other Libyan officials, charging them with kidnapping al-Sadr. Qaddafi was also indicted for “inciting the abduction” of the senior cleric.

Libya has denied responsibility, claiming that al-Sadr and his companions left Libya for Italy in 1978. However, many believe that al-Sadr is still alive and is being held in a secret jail in Libya.

Hezbollah has also said Libya is first and foremost responsible for al-Sadr’s disappearance.

During the interview, Hamdan said, “We believe that Imam Musa al-Sadr is alive and is in Libya.”

“We have travelled (to Iran) at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran to find new ways to help determine the fate of Imam Musa al-Sadr,” he stated.

Hamdan also said that the fate of Imam Sadr is important to both Iranian and Lebanese officials.

Iranian-Lebanese committee should be established

The Lebanese delegation held separate meetings with a number of Iranian MPs in Tehran late on Sunday.

During the meetings, Hamdan emphasized that an Iranian-Lebanese committee should be established to pursue the case of Sadr.

The delegation has also met with a number of ayatollahs and maraja taqlid (Shia clerics who are regarded as sources of emulation) based in the holy city of Qom, including Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani.

The members of the delegation have also met with Imam Sadr’s family, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, and former Judiciary chief Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi.

EP/PA
END
MNA

News Code 47767

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