Picco

by M.J. Ruijs

External events

Hostages Munich Olympic Games

1972

Hostages = Israeli athletes
Hostage-taker = Abu Nidal Organisation (Palestina)

Algiers Agreement

03/06/1975

Signed by the shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein - about the borders of Iran/Iraq

Syria occupation Lebanon

1976 - 1999

Syria, ally of Iran, originally invited by Lebanese forces during the civil war stationed between 30000-40000 troops in the country (Negotiating with Terrorists: 2010: 88)

U.S. embassy hostage taking in Iran

11/04/1979 - 01/20/1981

444 days

Afghanistan war (Soviet Russia v. U.S.)

12/26/1979 - 02/15/1989

Withdrawal of USSR troops completed

Soviet Russia enters Afghanistan

12/26/1979

on "invitation" by Russian Kabul, who placed Nur Muhammad Taraki there in 1975. U.S. backs Islamic holy warriors (to stop communism to spread). Afghanistan was the buffer between Soviet Russia & pro-western neighbours Pakistan & Iran. However, now Afghanistan was no longer the buffer/neutral.

Iran Iraq War

09/22/1980 - 08/08/1988

Iraq felt threatened, Iran (president Ali Khamanei, previous student of Ayatollah Khomeini - Ali Akhbar Velayati, foreign minister) had an unstable revolutionary regime at the time, thus by invading Iran, Saddam (Tariq Aziz - foreign minister) broke the Algiers Agreement. The U.S. and Soviet Russia supported Iraq to prevent the Iranian Revolution (political Islam) to spread. Motivation for the U.S. was the previous U.S. embassy hostage taking and Soviet Russia's motives were economic and military related. In addition, Saudi Arabia (the mullahs in Iran were challenging them for the moral and political leadership of the region) and Kuwait sponsored the Hussein regime.

From 1982-1984 Iran was on the winning hand. Iraq started to use chemical weapons, U.N. (Pérez de Cuéllar) condemned this, Iran started to trust U.N. As of 1988 Iraq had a slight advantage on the battlefield - however, Saudi Arabia did not want to be the piggybank anymore.

Proximity talks Soviet Russia & Afghanistan/Pakistan

01/06/1981

a) noninterference & nonintervention internal affairs
b) return of refugees
c) withdrawal of foreign troops
d) international guarantees

Arms shipment to Mujahideen (by U.S. and Pakistan) had to be stopped -, as well as arms shipment to Russian Kabul government (Soviet Russia) +

Hezbollah established

1982

Party of God - militant Shiite movement

Israeli army invaded southern Lebanon

06/06/1982

Why = retaliation for assassination attempt on Israel's ambassador in the UK, Shlomo Argov
Further info = A Warrior's Way - Avigdor Kahalani (p. 299)

Hezbollah unraveled May 17 agreement

1983

What = withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon (at that time under Israeli and Syrian occupation) in exchange for security zone in south Lebanon to prevent PLO infiltrating the borders, on initiative of the U.S.
More info = Hezbollah: A Short History - Augustus Richard Norton (p. 82)

Suicide bombing US Marine barracks Beirut

10/1983

The attack killed 241 soldiers (Hammel, 1985: 303). President Reagan decided to withdraw all 3000 remaining troops a few months later. The last soldier left March 31, 1984. The soldiers had been deployed as neutral peacekeepers, not partisan warriors. (Negotiating with Terrorists, 2010:87).

Iran-Contra scandal

1986

Arab nations believed the U.S. was supporting Iraq, while they were actually shipping arms to Iran. This felt as betrayal.

Resolution 598 Iran - Iraq

07/20/1987

Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire between Iran and Iraq, the repatriation of POWs and to withdraw to the international border. Iraq immediately accepted it, Iran did not but also did not refuse to accept it. In July 1988, Iran wanted to accept the resolution, however, meanwhile, Iraq got the upper hand on the battlefield and wasn't suddenly eager with signing the resolution anymore. That is when Prince Bandar bin Sultan & Prince Saud al-Faisal from Saudi Arabia came into the picture to put pressure on Iraq through King Fahd.

Geneva Accords

04/14/1988

What = End of Afghanistan war
President Mohammad Najibullah for Afghanistan. It was expected that his government would fall after the redrawal of Soviet Russia (1989) but was able to remain in power until 1992 (when the Mujahideen took over - in 1996 Taliban)
http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/ungomap/background.html

Iran Air Flight 655 (civilian) was shot down

07/03/1988

by USS Vincennes, killing 284 passengers. U.S. agreed to pay compensation to victim's families and formal apology in resolution.
http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/79/11131.pdf

Bush's speech "Goodwill begets goodwill"

01/20/1989

By releasing all the American hostages in Lebanon. The President of Iran, Rafsanjani, played a big part in this +, with his translator/diplomat Zarif +. Once all hostages were released, Scrowcroft (Bush's national security advisor) let Picco (U.N.) know that the U.S. could not make a good gesture towards Iran because of anti-Iran sentiment regarding previous U.S. embassy hostage taking.

"It was a public promise by the leader of the West's most powerful nation that could not be made without being kept" (p. 105)

Rushdie affair

02/1989

With his new anti-Muslim book he caused problems in the relations between Iran and the West

Saddam invaded Kuwait

08/01/1990

Why = petroleum
Result = in the night of August 2, the Dawa Seventeen could flee, who were a prerequisite for the kidnappers. On August 15, Saddam recognized borders in Algiers agreement, another prerequisite for the Iranians. Iraq (against the West) competitor with Iran for the Islamic masses. A new bargaining chip for Iran became the release of Lebanese in Israel.

US missiles in Iranian territory near borders Iraq

01/28/1991

Kept quiet "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" (p. 132). They were ment for Iraq because of their invasion into Kuwait.

Officials

Russian officials

1982 - 1991

Jan 1982 - July 1983: Yuri Andropov, was responsible for the Soviet's foreign policy +
August 1983 - February 1985: Andrei Gromyko -
March 1985 - August 1991: Mikhail S. Gorbachev, was the general secretary + (recognized the importance of the U.N., plus wanted to get out of Afghanistan --> appointed Nikolai Kozyrev, the unofficial Soviet negotiator

U.S. official Thomas (Tom) Pickering +

1989 - 1992

Who = U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
What = hostages must be freed purely on humanitarian grounds, no deal to reward illegal action. Maybe assets/compensation airbus victims.
At the same time, U.S. spoke with other governments to release hostages (through German intermediary; government of Pakistan; New Zealand; Syria; 2 private organisations) --> Problem = could compete with one another unknowingly and be manipulated by the other side (p. 117). After 'secret talks in Geneva' was published by the press, Bush had no other choice than to use the U.N. as primary channel.

Officials Iran

06/03/1989

June 3, 1989. Ayatollah Khomeini died +

Hashemi Rafsanjani + (Cyrus Nasseri, UN ambassador for Iran +) became president in 1989. But most influential person was Ali Akhbar Mohtashemi - former interior minister and Iranian ambassador in Syria, who played a vital role in the creation of Hezbollah in 1982 (p. 103).

January 1990: Kharazzi, Iranian ambassador to the U.N.
What = 1) U.S. could release frozen assets, 2) lift embargo on weapon shipment before 1979 happened, already paid for by the shah, 3) support Algiers agreement, 4) urge Saddam to withdraw Iraqi troops in return for influence on the hostage-takers.

Kidnappings

Benjamin Weir

05/1984 - 09/1985

Hostage = American Presbyterian minister Benjamin Weir
Situation =
Kidnapper = Islamic Jihad Organisation
Released = due to Iran-contra affair of shipping two further consignments of 69 TOW missiles

Lawrence Jenco

01/08/1985 - 07/26/1986

Hostage = American Reverend Lawrence Jenco
Situation = Director Catholic Relief Services
Kidnapper = Islamic Jihad Organisation
Released = due to Iran-contra affair in which Hawk missile spare parts were being shipped to Iran via Israel

Alec Collett (killed)

03/25/1985 - 04/1986

Hostage = British Alec Collett
Situation = U.N. Relief and Works Agency
Kidnapper = Revolutionary Organisation of Socialist Muslims (suspected Abu Nidal, Palestina)
a) video he is being well treated
b) video to Thatcher to release Palestinians convicted of seriously wounding Israeli ambassador to Britain in 1982
c) video hanging of hostage in April 1986, not verified until 2009

David Jacobsen

05/1985 - 11/02/1986

Hostage = American David Jacobsen
Situation = American University of Beirut
Kidnapper = ?
Released = due to Iran-contra affair in which Hawk missile spare parts were being shipped to Iran via Israel

John McCarthy

03/1986 - 08/08/1991

Hostage = British television journalist
After release = carried message from Islamic Jihad to Perez de Cuellar with decade of grievances

Terry Waite

01/20/1987 - 11/18/1991

Hostage = British emissary of the archbishop of Canterbury
Situation = used by U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North in the Iran-contra weapons scheme to free U.S. citizens Reverend Lawrence Jenco & David Jacobsen
Kidnapper = ?

William Higgins (killed)

02/17/1988 - 12/23/1991

Hostage = U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel William Higgins
Situation = UN Interim Force in Lebanon
Kidnapper = ?

July 29 1989: video of Higgins being hanged
Velayati: Higgins killed around the shooting down of the Iran Flight (July 1988) (p. 106)

Israel kidnaps Sheikh Abdul Karim Obeid -

07/28/1989

Who = leading Shiite cleric in southern Lebanon
Why = trading for Israeli airman shot down over Lebanon in 1986 and still missing (p. 109)
Result = hold on UN-kidnapper conversation in Syria and showing Higgins being hanged the day after

Statement Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah +

08/08/1989

Who = spiritual leader of the south Lebanese shiites
What = publicly declared that Hezbollah was ready to free the hostages (p. 110)
Result = Bush consulted with Perez de Cuéllar through Scrowcroft with Rafsanjani. However, his response: 1) Obeid must be freed for kidnappers 2) assets must be returned to Iran 3) Bush must pressure Maronite community to free Iranian hostages. Later on, Velayati stated that 1) US must release 10% of assets and 2) pay compensation for victims Iranian Airbus as promised by Reagan. This was refused on September 19, 1990 by Baker (secretary of state) (p. 115)

Fake caller White House

02/05/1990

Who = 'adviser Rafsanjani' (political enemy)
What = if US releases assets and publicly announced their improved partnership with Iran, Iran will help with hostages. Bush verified caller with Perez de Cuellar, who warned representatives of Iran.
Result = end of February Rafsanjani was prepared to help with the hostages. In March publicly. Early April the release of Robert Polhill and Frank Reed.

Brian Keenan released (UK)

09/1990

Possible result = release of 40 prisoners Israel had detained without due process in southern Lebanon.

Return body Israeli soldiers 1/7

1991

Summer 1991 by Syrians. Been missing in Lebanon since 1980s. The other 6 became part of Picco's bargaining dossier.

False information release hostages

03/1991

UNIFIL: "according to security sources, the release of 6 American hostages will take place on March 22, 1991 in a Beirut hotel. From there, the hostages will be transferred to Damascus where they will be handed over to the US ambassador. The other Western hostages will be released on March 23, 1991 in the presence of the ambassadors of their respective countries".

Few days later, spokesman Hezbollah: "we hope all local and international media will be accurate and not rely on any other source but the press office of Hezbollah. There will be no release of any Western hostages in Lebanon". (p. 134)

They wanted the release of thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians held prisoner by Israel.

Israel statement to release Palestinians

04/08/1991

Freeing a thousand Palestinians in connection with the visit of US secretary of state James Baker (p. 135)

Picco meets Fadlallah

04/13/1991

who = p. 140 spiritual and political leader
where = first Iran embassy then the heartland of fundamentalist and Shiite Beirut: Hizbollah country
what = "this matter should be solved on its own merits, not with financial attachments" Not decision maker, only influence. Enough prisoners of war in the area. UN is appropriate as they helped negotiating the end to the Iran-Iraq war --> no quid pro quo. Do not involve Lebanese officials, only talk to Iranians (p. 141). "You can meet directly with the hostage takers, with the help of Iran, Britain & America cannot" (p. 142). April 16: met with 2 Hizbollah officials "Hizbollah was detaining no hostages, solicit the good of Iran if I wanted to get in touch with hostage holders" (p. 143)

Uri Lubrani enters the scene +

05/1991

who = Israel's chief political negotiator in the hostage exchange

Baker lies again

05/20/1991

"Hurd (british foreign secretary) met with US secretary of state James Baker and pushed for a complete package to be executed through the good offices of the UN secretary-general. Baker apparently concurred. But no sooner had we received this briefing by the British than the message had to be corrected: Baker had not agreed to use the secretary-general as the only channel. (p. 145)
"Jim Baker had still not decided if we were in a position to handle the hostage problem, and official Washington thus felt uncomfortable passing political intelligence to the secretary-general's office (p. 146)

Meeting Picco - Kharrazi

06/1991

Lebanon through Iran, Israel through US.
Kharrazi confirmed no hostage had died since the murder of Colonel Higgins in 1988 and Iran did not know the whereabouts of Arad.
Memo by Picco, proposal him as insurance in Lebanon. Vaezi would never allow UN official to be held hostage.
At this point in time: 6 Americans, 3 British (both Hizbollah), 2 Germans (Hammadi clan as hostages for 2 brothers trialed in |Germany)

Meeting Picco - Scowcroft

06/28/1991

"we are not in favor of a deal, but we are in favor of all parties who hold captives without due process releasing them. this could be communicated to iran". Washington would get in touch with Israel, but it is up to them what to do with it. From Iran - UN - US to Iran - UN - Israel --> more diplomatic and US not exposed

Meeting Picco - Zarif

07/27/1991

President Rafsanjani was fully on board to close the hostage file before the end of Perez de Cuellar's term in office. Iran would do its best with the groups in Lebanon to free the hostages, and we would deliver Paragraph 6 of UN Resolution 598

Islamic Jihad statement

08/06/1991

The Islamic Jihad in Beirut had indicated that it would soon communicate with the secretary-general of the UN and send a special messenger to him so that the release of all the hostages could take place (p. 152)

Jérôme Leyraud kidnapped

08/09/1991 - 08/11/1991

who = French aid worker
what = if the kidnappers on the other end of the Iranian connection had indeed not taken the latest French hostage - and they quickly let it be known that they had not - it was obvious that we could no longer settle matters at a distance (p. 155)

Meeting Picco - kidnappers

08/10/1991

Zamania at Iranian Embassy first, then 'kidnapped'.
Not everybody happy with release McCarthy, therefore kidnapping French guy, if they release another one --> danger for French guy. v.
Credibility of the group, blackmailed by splinter 'group'

For second hostage they wanted reciprocation. Message for each government involved (US --> pressuring Israel for release Lebanese prisoners and stop pressuring Germany with Hammadi brothers, Britain (pressure on Israel), Germany --> condition Hammadi brothers, Israel --> free Lebanese prisoners). Answer from Picco, not the governments.
v.
what about Israelis? A separate group responsible for Israelis but he would bring me its reaction

Show of goodwill = hostage Edward Tracy released (very confused, didn't know who he was)

Also, the Frenchman was released the following morning and 3 people involved with his abduction were said to have been executed by the groups (p. 167)

Meeting Picco - Lubrani - Perez de Cuellar

08/11/1991

Israel would be prepared to free the Lebanese detained in South Lebanon and would even consider a visit by the ICRC to sheikh obeid in Israel, provided that similar visits with the Israeli MIAs could be arranged (2 lost in battle June 1982: Joseph Fink & Rahamim Levi Alsheik; 3 captured in 1982 in a different military operation in Lebanon: Zacharia Baumel, Zvi Feldman & Yehuda Katz; 1 shot down in 1986, air man Ron Arad).
Problem = Israel ignored previous good will of releasing 2 western hostages, irrelevant for them.

Swiss ambassador Edouard Brunner in Washington had become his country's point man on the hostages. (p 173)

Meeting Picco - Kharrazi

08/12/1991

Iran heard demands from Israel and wanted information on 4 Iranian citizens: Mouhsen al-Mousawi, Ahmad Motevaselian, Kasem Alkhavan Alaf & Tajhirastejar Mogedam who had been missing in Beirut since 1982. Groups in Lebanon could be helpful with information on 2 Israelis, but no knowledge on Ron Arad.

Israel gave Picco information about possible burial site of the 4. However, before releasing single Lebanese, the other first.

Meeting Picco - Velayati

08/28/1991

3 European professors busy with paragraph 6

Two possible names regarding information Ron Arad

Proximity talks 2nd half September

09/1991

Israel needs forensic intel on 2nd body, in exchange letter from Sheikh Obeid to his family, but will only release 4/5 more prisoners.

False: sheikd Obeid, leader of Hizbollah, announced that UK hostage would be released, after which Sheikh Obeid.

Iranians suddenly said: talk with Libya.

Meeting Picco - Lubrani

09/02/1991

Israel would release 80 prisoners (dead or alive) in exchange for information on 2 Israeli bodies & intel on Arad's status

Proximity deal through the Swiss

09/03/1991

Group would hand over 1 of the 2 bodies held by Hizbollah as well as the remains of 6 soldiers in the pro-Israel South Lebanese Army (SLA), plus Ron Arad was alive and a sign of life could be given in exchange for 50 detainees

Meeting Picco - Lubrani - Perez de Cuellar

09/08/1991

release of 70 / 80 Lebanese detainees in exchange for the search for Ron Arad. Kharrazi mentioned 10-15 days. Israel believed that Iran exactly knew where Arad was - in the control of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Azkari himself.

Iran - Israel - Iran

09/10/1991

Akhtari delay. For information on 2 Israeli bodies, 70 Lebanese. And what about 5th missing Iranian in Beirut? Say what!?

Iranians and Syrians claimed the other had intel on Arad. Two weeks earlier, Assad had assured Jim Baker that Iran was the place, Israel agreed.

Kaddour, deputy foreign minister Syria, wanted in and asked about 26 Syrian civilians being held by Israel. Also Italian embassy asked for hostage Alberto Molinari (longtime resident, clan feud)

Information on the 2 given to Israel, one is good, the other sketchy but confirmed identity. Israel said they would release 51 prisoners and 25 bodies, latter changed in 9 bodies.

Meeting Picco - Rafsanjani - Perez de Cuellar

09/11/1991

When paragraph 6 report completed? end of October (hostages have to be returned) / end of term Perez de Cuellar

Rafsanjani "the previous linkage between Iranian frozen assets in the US and the hostage crisis had been cut by his government, we have no intention of linking the two things. Thát important was paragraph 6 (p. 181)

in return occupied with search Arad

support Iran to get the body of Colonel Higgins; obtain list of people regarding Arad (Akhtari: Durani and Azkari from Bekaa Valley); further intel on Alec Collett; secure release of 2 western hostages; complete forensic information 2nd israeli

Possible talks release hostage

09/17/1991

Iranians (Akhtari) - Picco: 1 British hostage
Islamic groups Lebanon: Jackie mann (uk) & joseph cicippio (us)

German hostages intel

09/19/1991

Reported Picco on prison conditions Hammadi brothers. Wanted assurance of safety of German hostages otherwise no conjugal visits.
v.
Abdullah focused on US and UK hostages and not German hostages because they were under control of Hammadi family

Proximity talks Iran

09/20/1991

Akhtari said groups were angry because less than 70 released. Wanted to include Palestinian prisoners, refused by Picco.

Picco to Alizade (Iranian embassy Lebanon) that he needs rest of information 2nd body, Joseph Fink, plus meeting with Durani and Azkari regarding Arad. How many detainees released in return? Iranians missing? v. SLA prisoners?

Meeting Picco - kidnappers

09/21/1991 - 10/02/1991

Abdullah angry because 60 detainees were released instead of 80. Explained missing intel Israeli; treatment Hammadi brothers in Germany. Abdullah did not know intel was insufficient: 'perhaps we should negotiate directly and leave out the Iranians' (p. 189)

William Buckley, CIA station chief in Lebanon murdered in 1985; Michel Seurat, French doctor killed in 1986; Colonel Higgins, murdered 1988.

Abdullah thought release 1 hostage, Picco was promised 2 by Iran.

20 people released in exchange for Jackie Mann. Only works with more intel on 2nd body.

Alizade knows nothing about SLA prisoners.

Israel only wanted to release 10 for more intel (domestic public opinion pressure).

False deal by handler: intel on Iranians bring intel on Arad. Picco did not buy it.

Alizade said Alec Collett was kidnapped by a group close to Libyans.

Release 1 hostage in exchange for 9 alive and 1 dead (Lubrani) if intel on 2nd body.

Abdullah not prepared to release intel 2nd body but Picco expecting hostage release as a result of meeting Perez de Cuallar - Rafsanjani - Picco --> Jackie Mann, old RAF fighter pilot, the next day turned over to Syria and on September 25 to British ambassador in Syria ('iran paid high political price to free Jackie Mann') --> with no contribution from Israel --> needs new strategy

September 27: Baker: Washington was ready to reestablish diplomatic relations with iran and meet in secret with velayati at private residence perez de cuallar

October 2, Lubrani intel on 4 missing Iranians (buried in mass grave), need intel on Arad. Iranians skeptical.

CNN said live feature Obeid/Arad, Lubrani be my guest, didn't find Arad either.

October 7. Nine point plan with Lubrani to free all Lebanese detainees, western hostages and Israeli MIAs in 30 days.
Zarif = 325 detainees, Lubrani = 270 detainees.

Washington one channel

10/09/1991

Call Peter Burleigh of the NSC. Swiss channel was dormant, NSC operates on the UN channel solely.

John Pattis released

10/10/1991

who = arrested in Iran in 1986, spy Iraq
Wife, Ellen, called "about a year earlier, prisoners in Evin had heard guards bragging about an Israeli pilot who was being held in the same place"

Meeting Syria - kidnappers - Libya

10/13/1991 - 10/21/1991

Three step plan (old plan): receive intel 2nd body; release one western hostage; release nine Lebanese detainees & 1 body

Akhtari suddenly: Palestinians; Lebanese detained in Europe; Iranian prisoners; Syrian prisoners in Israel; etc.
'other channel' better deal --> Rafsanjani insisted on using UN channel

Akhtari: german hostages held by hammadis, Lebanese family who worked with the hizbollah security apparatus but who often preferred to do things on their own. Picco: families would receive German visas to visit

October 15. Reuters report false promises by Picco to safeguard kidnappers, plus suspect guard accussed of being Israeli informant.

Meeting kidnappers. Israel promised 50 prisoners 'other channel'. Picco said no. Lebanese prisoners in Europe, Israel could pressure, 10-20 prisoner releases. Picco suggested names most important in exchange for intel 2nd body.

2nd meeting with kidnappers. Picco: Sheikh Obeid would be freed if Ron Arad were freed and Khiam prison would be emptied. Abdullah: one of western hostages being held by Palestinians (Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine) --> demanding 400 Palestinian prisoners. exclude that hostage? no deal. Talk to Khaddafi to pressure Palestinians. Akhtari will give intel 2nd body next day if some of the list are released.

Meeting Akhtari. Alec Collett (UN hostage 1985, photo of being hanged real?) possibly kidnapped by Palestinian group associated with Libyans. Ask Khaddafi about that + Arad.

Trip to Libya for nothing, no khaddafi, spoke with foreign minister instead. Islamic Jihad saw it as sign of goodwill from UN part. Back in Syria, no intel 2nd body. Picco got angry, later that day intel from Zamania.

Trip to Israel. rumors Islamic Jihad would release Alann Steen & Jesse Turner next. Gave intel to Lubrani --> 15 prisoners & bodies in return IF western hostage were freed. Arens (defense minister) wanted Arad up front before giving. General Barak wanted not to release paragraph 6 before Arad case was solved.

Picco asked about Syrians jailed by Israel, 3 of 26 already released.

Meeting kidnappers. Abdullah: Jesse Turner would be released in exchange for 15 prisoners (Labrani 3 from the list), wanted to speak to wife Turner before release, and Picco must be the releaser instead of Syria.

October 20. Picco wrote press release: politically risky, will everyone end up their end of the bargain? credibility important.

October 21. CNN & Iranian news agency report release hostage, Iranians don't know. Syrian intelligence looking for Abdullah & Picco: to defy Syrian intelligence in Beirut was a political and practical gesture not to be taken lightly even by Islamic Jihad (p. 223) political message being sent by Hizbollah to Syrians and Picco as messenger (p. 224).

Turner been set free after Picco gave him to Syrian intelligence. Press release by Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine (domestic matter inside Islamic jihad?)

Meeting Picco Israel Iran

10/23/1991 - 11/18/1991

Israel: first intel Arad, then the rest (based on own intelligence, US doubts too).

October 30. Kharrazi to Perez: if Arad most important - release Sheikh Obeid most important. If US could get Iran from rogue state list.

Current state: US Alann Steen, teacher at AUB, kidnapped January 1987; US Joseph Cicippio, financial director AUB, kidnapped September 1986; US Thomas Sutherland, dean agriculture AUB, kidnapped June 1985; US Terry Anderson, journalist, kidnapped March 1985; UK Terry Waite, negotiator-envoy of Anglican Church, kidnapped January 1987; DE Heinrich Struebig & DE Thomas Kemptner, aid workers, kidnapped September 1989.

Germans: hostages
Canadian & Italian: nationals disappeared in civil war
Syrians: detainees imprisoned in Israel (sent 3 Israeli bodies, not bodies missing men)
Iranians: missing in Beirut (counts Israel out)
kidnappers: Lebanese detained in Europe
(US: not possible to get Iran of list, too late, plus suspected of assassination opponents)

Beginning November meeting Zarif: paragraph 6

November 12: Family brothers in Germany under Red Cross, pressure from US not to release them of hijacking flight 1985

Akhtari through Zarif: Hizbollah leader Sheikh Abbas Mussawi does not want to meet.
Akhtari: Iran pressuring groups to release Terry Waite and an American. Let Israel (pressured by US) stop attacking Lebanon in the south

November 17, kidnappers meeting. Picco: release hostages -Irael, pressure on them for human rights, backed by public opinion. Abdullah: -Israel, pressure US who pressures Israel, show goodwill for Picco's work --> Terry Waite & Thomas Sutherland (released November 18), stop pressure friends on groups, declaration UN -Israel, Red Cross visit detainees, detainees Europe. Picco: no Europe, will help detainees in Israel.

November 18, meeting Israelis. Perez: release 10 detainees as a gesture so Iran will continue searching Arad.

Meeting Zarif: too late, too less. 100 detainees --> 50 detainees.

Meeting Lubrani: letter Sheikh Obeid to family

Zarif: warn Tom Pickering for more kidnappings Americans

Three US hostages released

11/27/1991

Zarif: paragraph 6 in exchange for 3 us hostages, with or without Israel

November 28 Israel. Picco: release some detainees for good will, or 'part of the deal' (hostages would be released anyway) --> looking good for US. 25 released before hostages released + message sheikh obeid to family + red cross visit. Still search arad by iran needed.

November 28. Zarif: promise send body of Colonel Higgins (UN US) & Buckley (CIA chief Beirut) to Picco

November 29: confirmation Kharrazi search arad. confirmation Lubrani 25 detainees released upfront.

meeting kidnappers. Abdullah: only deal with us hostages (Revolutionary Justice Organisation; Islamic Jihad; Jihad Islamic Palestine), for the rest go to iran & hizbollah leaders, in exchange for continuing work UN to release Lebanese detainees.

December 2. Release Joseph Cicippio
December 3. Release Steen
December 4. Release Terry Anderson --> delay 'snow'. German press said german hostages would also be released that day, angered Hammadi clan with Iranians and hizbollah who then delayed release Anderson. iran denied story but damage been done.

What still needed to be done:
- fate missing israelis (incl Ron Arad)
- return bodies US Higgins & Buckley
- freedom 2 Germans
- fate Alec Collett
- Lebanese detainees in Khiam
- 4 missing iranians

Prosecuting terrorists

12/10/1991 - 12/23/1991

Bush stated in speech.
Israel and Iran mad, negotiations were still going on.

12 dec. United Nations released paragraph 6
Israelis angry.

late nov. Bush agreed for repayment iran $270 million of its own money that the former shah had paid for goods before their actual delivery took place. iranians: not good enough.
picco: embargo american exports to iran? scrowcroft: if arad case solved, it could help

dec 16. germany: 2 jailed brothers allowed family visitors without 3rd person; same prison - dec 18. german justice department vetoed no
israeli kidnapped 3 lebanese (hezbollah)

dec 23. higgins body released (refrigerated since 1988)

videotape of 2 germans

dec 26. body buckley

1992

1992 - 06/17/1992

jan 21. scrowcroft: maybe compensation victims iranian airbus 1988. irans request to be removed from terrorist state list no

febr 3. kinkel: rafsanjani: good will us, interest accrued on assets frozen since 1981, 10 billion.
zarif: forensic evidence molinari, akhtari does not want to give

febr 16: israeli missile killed sheikh abbas mussawi

israel did not want to release detainees unconditionally, assassinated mussawi. iran-germany without israel.

febr 25. scrowcroft: maybe sale of some civilian aircraft to iran.

march 6. germany: support human rights iran. iran: mad.

march 15. picco: 1. see sheikh obeid 2. family visit to obeid 3. + 4. see durani and azkari (arad) 5. see detainees khiam through red cross 6. return body 1 israeli + release .. lebanese detainees.

boutros-ghali: working on arad case to israel, 3 emissaries. lubrani: ? to picco. picco: ?

april 2. scowcroft: no lift economic sanctions because iran had turned to terrorism abroad + irans nuclear program

april 26. boutros-ghali: swap 2 germans for brothers. picco: impossible. b: yes! rafsanjani: wtf? hans-dietrich genscher: no! b: fix it picco (hammadis also informed it was possible) kinkel: no

may 31: exchange letters germans and brothers. bonn replied picco only channel.

june 9. zarif: rafsanjani: hammadis cracked, picco guarantor for 2 brothers condition

june 16. picco to beirut, meeting with lebanese officials.

june 17. 2 germans released kemptner and struebig to lebanese authorities rather than syrian intelligence.