“Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar had paid $ 57 million to release 57 members of the Revolutionary Guards who were captured by an armed group in Syria,” this is what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former Iranian President has said in a recent speech.
“An IRGC bus in Syria was on its way to the shrine of Sayyida Zainab in southern Damascus when the bus driver purposely drove them into an ambush by an armed opposition group (he did not specify it), and all the guards were captured,” Ahmadinejad refers.
In a speech to a group of his supporters in the port of Dir in Bushehr province, southern Iran, Ahmadinejad has added that this matter happened at the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2012.
“Iran and the Syrian regime have not succeeded in releasing the prisoners of IRGC. Which has created great concern within Iranian officials for fear of beheading them and posting videos of them, so they have resorted to Qatar,” Ahmadinejad pointed out.
“Qatar was able, after a period of time, to mediate their release,” he asserted.
The former Iranian president made it clear that he had received a call from the former Emir of Qatar in which he said: “I found a way to contact the hostage-takers, and they said that we want a million dollars to release each person, 57 million dollars for all, that is, a lot of money.”
Ahmadinejad has confirmed that he asked the former Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to pay the amount, provided that Iran would return it at a later time.
He has indicated that the Emir of Qatar paid the sum and all the prisoners were released.
The former Iranian president has stated that after this incident, he sent the Iranian foreign minister to Qatar with a check for $ 57 million.
“I conveyed greetings, and a message of thanks, in addition the $ 57 million check, But the Emir of Qatar at the time returned the check immediately,” the iranian foreign minister said After his return from Qatar.
“The Emir told me that he did this for the sake of friendship between the two peoples and his brothers, and he sent his regards to Ahmadinejad,” he added.