Nobel Peace Prize-winning Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi. (AFP)

October 4, 2016

Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi has accused Iran of playing a role behind the disappearance of Lebanese leader Musa al-Sadr during a trip to Libya in 1978.


Musa al-Sadr.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ebadi spoke for the first time about the fate of Imam al-Sadr and suggested Ayatollah Khomeini and his aide played a role in the disappearance of Lebanon’s charismatic Shiite cleric.

“Sadr stayed for several days in Libya waiting for the arrival of Khomeini’s aide Mohammad Beheshti. However, Sadr decided to leave the country when Beheshti’s arrival was delayed,” Ebadi told Farsi-speaking Radio Farda,as quoted by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Sunday.

The Iranian lawyer claimed Sadr was detained at an undisclosed location after Khomeini’s aide telephoned Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

“Beheshti informed Qaddafi that Sadr was in contact with the Iranian Shah, and that they had received evidence proving Sadr was in connection with the Americans.”

“Beheshti asked for the termination of Sadr to remove him from the way of Khomeini. Therefore, Qaddafi ordered that Sadr be killed and buried at an unknown location in the Libyan Desert.”

Charismatic cleric Sadr was born in Iran and migrated to Lebanon to establish the powerful Lebanese militia Amal Movement in 1974 to defend Shiite interests during the civil war.

A common-held theory suggests he and two colleagues disappeared in the Libyan capital on the orders of Qaddafi.

Sadr’s family and Lebanon’s Shiite community hold the former Libyan leader responsible for the disappearance of Sadr.

Libya says Sadr, a relative of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, vanished after leaving Tripoli for Italy, but an Italian investigating magistrate has ruled he never arrived there.

Ebadi said the Sadr family informed her that the Iranian Foreign Ministry had rejected a request to find Sadr because the Iranian authorities “did not want to sacrifice the political relations for family relations.”

Al Arabiya English

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.