Austrian Diplomacy Wins: Two Austrians Freed from Iranian Detention

PeopleOther ♦ Published: June 6, 2023; 11:44 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria's efforts to secure the release of Kamran Ghaderi and Massud Mossaheb from Iranian custody have finally borne fruit. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg announced that the two Austrian-Iranian dual citizens were on their way to Austria, where their families are eagerly waiting for them.

Kamran Ghaderi (left) and Masoud Mossaheb (right) are now on their way to Austria. / Picture: © Free Kamran Ghaderi / Harika Ghaderi / Amnesty International Österreich (Photo composition)

Again and again, foreign citizens or Iranians living abroad are arrested in Iran. This includes Austrians, who often remain imprisoned for years and leave their families behind in worry. In this context, it is welcome news that Austria's diplomatic efforts over many years have finally been successful. Thanks to close cooperation with Belgium and Oman, the release of the two Austrian-Iranian dual nationals was achieved

"Our years of diplomatic struggle to secure their release have borne fruit," Schallenberg said. He particularly thanked his Belgian colleague Hadja Lahbib and Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi for their valuable support. He said that the close, discreet, and trusting cooperation with their partners ultimately led to the release of the two men. Kamran Ghaderi spent 2709 days and Massud Mossaheb 1586 days in Iranian custody.

"Since day one of my tenure as foreign minister, the safety and well-being of Mr. Ghaderi and Mr. Mossaheb have been a constant concern of mine," Schallenberg continued. He said the struggle for their release had intensely challenged his team and him for years. Austria had held countless talks at all levels and worked persistently towards a humanitarian solution. It had been a diplomatic marathon that had ultimately paid off.

The Foreign Minister expressly thanked his team at the Foreign Ministry and the Austrian Embassy in Tehran and to Belgium and Oman for their tireless efforts. "Today is a very moving day for all of us. We are especially happy for the brave families who have suffered so much in recent years. Now they can finally embrace their husbands, fathers, and grandfather again in freedom," Schallenberg stressed.

In conclusion, the Foreign Minister assured that the Foreign Ministry will continue to do everything possible to also secure the release of the third Austrian citizen, who is still imprisoned in Iran and whose appeal proceedings are currently underway. Efforts to secure his release will continue to bring him back safely to the arms of his family as well.