The Islamic Republic of Iran handed over 4 Al Qaeda members to France

On late February 2002 the Islamic Republic of Iran handed over 4 Al Qaeda members to French authorities. At the time France announced only few French women who were married to Al Qaeda members were extradited. The government in Iran never admitted anything publicly. At the same time the US officials repeatedly insisted that Iran should return the captured Al Qaeda members to Americans. Based on reliable sources, last February the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to secretly send 4 members of Al Qaeda, who all were men (contrary to the official announcement) who while being handcuffed were escorted by the security forces to terminal 2 at Mehrabad airport in Iran. Later, they were transferred to a secured detention room. At the same time more security forces were added to beef up the airport security. Then under a very tight security they were boarded to a plane and their hands were tied to seats of the plane. Some members of the Iranian security forces were also on board with them, ready to take off for France.

It is not clear whether these 4 men were used as a bargaining chip in a deal between Iran and the US or they were sent to France to let France pursue its own bargaining with the United States. No one except some of the top officials of the Iranian government, who later arrived at the airport, knew about the final destination, and even the security forces were kept in dark until the last moment. With some of the secretly held negotiations between the US and Iran in Cyprus, return of these 4 men could be a goodwill gesture from Iran. The French involvement and their mediation should be seen in the context of the role, which they played during Madam Albright, the former US secretary of States. After some secret dealings between France and US the United States was supposed to drop its sanctions against the French oil company Total. In return France was supposed to provide the needed intelligence support for establishing contacts with the regime in Iran, a matter with a great concern for American monopolies and the US government.
According to:Kar no 228,central organ of (OIPFG)

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