Tripoli, 28 . . .[restrict]August:
Iran’s powerful parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani reportedly made a personal phone call on Monday to Mohammed Magarief over the fate of the seven kidnapped Iranian aid workers.
The Iranian government news agency reported that Larijani told Magarief: “The Iranian government and nation pursue the news and reports related to the event with sensitivity and concern, and hope that the abducted people will return to their families with the measures adopted by the Libyan government.”
Magarief is understood to have expressed regret about the kidnapping, assuring Larijani that the humanitarian workers “are in good health and will be freed soon.”
Libya set up special committee was earlier this month to work towards the release of the hostages, following a visit to Tripoli by the Iranian Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi.
The kidnapping took place in Benghazi in the early hours of 31 July as the seven workers returned to to their hotel, from the headquarters of the Libyan Red Crescent. The driver, a local man, was not taken.
It is understood that the kidnappers are Islamic extremists and the abductions occurred amid concerns that the Iranian aid workers may attempt to spread Shiite Islam. The whereabouts of the seven hostages is not known but there have been unconfirmed reports that they are alive and well.
The Red Crescent is a non-religious, non-political humanitarian organisation and the Iranian group was operating in Libya at the invitation of the Libyan Red Crescent. [/restrict]