Iranian media report that Jeysh-ol-Adl has released the Iranian border officials it had held captive since February, and their release has also been confirmed by the group’s own sources.
On Friday April 4, following a series of contradictory reports about the release of these hostages, Fars quoted an informed source saying that “the soldiers have been delivered to the hands of Iranian officials in Pakistan by the Jeysh-ol-Adl terrorist group.”
The Tasnim website also reports: “The abducted border officials are no longer under control of the terrorists and have been delivered to the hands of Pakistani and a number of Sunni figures but are still not in Iranian territory.”
The report goes on to quote Esmail Kosari, a member of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, saying that the abducted border officials have been passed on to Islamic Republic contacts but are not in Iran yet. He added that the number of delivered hostages is four.
Five border officials were abducted in February, and two weeks ago the group announced that it had executed one of hostages, Sergeant Jamshid Danaifar, because of the government’s failure to address the group’s demands. Iranian authorities, however, have not yet confirmed Danaifar’s death.
Abdolraof Rigi, a spokesman for Jeysh-ol-Adl, reported in a Skype interview on Al-Arabiah that the group decided to release hostages out of respect for the Sunni religious leader and as a mark of good faith, hoping that Iranian authorities will respond in kind and release prisoners linked to Jeysh-ol-Adl.
Jeysh-ol-Adl considers itself a defender of minority Sunnis in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan region and an opponent of Iran’s stance in the Syrian conflict.