4 December 2003
BRUSSELS – Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Louis Michel is to meet the mother of two Belgian-Iranian children who have sought refuge at the Belgian embassy in Tehran after running away from their father, who brought them to Iran illegally.
The children’s Iranian father Shahab abducted Sara and Yasmine Pourashemi in August of this year from his 36-year-old estranged wife Zarah in Liege, who had been awarded custody of the children, aged 6 and 14.
The girls escaped from the house in which they had been staying for three months and caught a taxi to the Belgian embassy this week.
The Belgian embassy alerted Iranian authorities immediately to the presence of the two girls, insisting it was prepared to discuss the issue with a view to reaching an agreement acceptable both to Belgium and Iran.
An international arrest warrant has been issued against Shahab for failing to return a child, while diplomatic efforts are also in motion, with Michel planning to visit Zarah.
Shahab, a doctor, decided to take his children on holidays to Greece, but after a few days travelled from Athens to Tehran, where he left the children with his mother.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Belgian news