Iranian Engineers Seized in Syria Arrive in Tehranإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Two Iranians kidnapped in Syria in December and freed with the help of Turkish mediation arrived in Tehran on Thursday, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Majid Qanbar Beedroomi and Ahad Sohrabi Kordabadi were among seven Iranian engineers abducted near central Homs city, where they worked at an electricity plant for Iran's Power Plant Projects Management Company, according to Iranian officials.
After their liberation, the two Iranians were brought to Turkey, which has demanded Syrian President Bashar Assad's departure over a bloody 15-month crackdown on protests that has seen some regime opponents take up arms.
They were greeted Thursday by Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs, Hassan Ghashghavi, who thanked "the efforts of Turkey, a friendly and brotherly country" that enabled the release of two engineers.
Ghashghavi said he hoped "close cooperation with the Turkish government could allow the early release of the other engineers."
"My job was to install power lines in Syria," Kordabadi said at the airport, according to IRNA. He did not say who was behind their abduction.
An unknown group calling itself the "Movement Against the Expansion of Shiism in Syria" claimed responsibility for the Iranians' abduction in a statement received by AFP in January.
The rebel Free Syrian Army later said it was holding five Iranian Revolutionary Guards abducted in Homs, but it was not clear if it was referring to the men Iranian officials described as engineers, or to a different group.
Several Iranian pilgrims travelling to holy Shiite sites in Syria were reported to have been kidnapped since late December. More than half of them have been released since early February.
On May 12, Turkish media reported two Turkish journalists held in Syria for two months were freed thanks to Iranian mediation.
Iran is Assad's main ally in the region, while Turkey has broken with him as a result of his crackdown on dissent, which has left more than 12,000 people dead since March 2011.