Ibrahim Says Efforts to Release Zakka Began Soon after Detention
General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim emphasized that the Directorate has launched efforts to release Lebanese detainee Nizar Zakka in Tehran the moment he was detained, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.
“From the onset of his detention in Tehran, the General Security has launched efforts to release Zakka and other Lebanese citizens because it is a duty to demand the release of each Lebanese wherever he may be, with all due respect for all friendships,”said Abbas in remarks to the daily.
“But those who believe they don't belong to the Lebanese state, but belong to a specific political party, can ask the Lebanese state to refrain from recovering them back,” he added.
Ibrahim’s remarks came in the wake of a report on Iranian state television that Zakka, a Lebanese advocate for internet freedom, was to be released "only because of the respect and dignity" Iran has for the leader of Hizbullah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and that negotiations were not held with "any person or government."
Abbas affirmed that Iranian authorities will release Zakka today.
Al-Joumhouria added that Ibrahim has telephone called President Michel Aoun informing him that the administrative and legal arrangements for ending Zakka's file and securing his repatriation to Beirut had been completed and that he was due to return today.
On Monday, Ibrahim met with Zakka in Tehran. He also met with a number of Iranian officials and has put Aoun in the picture of all the meetings he has held in Iran, Lebanese TV networks reported.
Lebanon's Foreign Ministry had last week announced that Tehran had asked Lebanese authorities to send a delegation to Tehran for Zakka's repatriation.
Zakka has been detained in Iran since 2015 over spying allegations. He was sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison and a $4.2 million fine.