London, Asharq Al-Awsat- A high ranking source affiliated with the offices of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Two Israeli soldiers captured by Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah in 2006 have been handed to Iran and could be freed in a German-brokered swap.
“The operation to transfer the two Israeli soldiers to (a country) outside Lebanon and then to Iran was executed by a special unit belonging to the Al-Quds Legion,” the source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The two soldiers were captured by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in July last year, which triggered a 34-day military conflict between the group and the Israeli army.
The source said the operation was led by a general he identified as Al-Quds chief Qassem Sulaimani, who he claimed was based in Lebanon with other high-ranking Guards officers during the Lebanon war.
The source did not specify when the soldiers — Ehud Goldwasser, 31, and Eldad Regev, 26 — were taken from Lebanon, nor name the transit country.
The source claimed that the soldiers could be part of an exchange involving Germany, which decided last week to free an Iranian agent jailed for life for the 1992 murder of four Kurdish dissidents.
“The content of the deal is being kept under tight secrecy this time, as it is related to the fate of the two Israeli soldiers,” he added.