‘My husband will return soon’

It has been an emotionally turbulent time for the wife of an Iranian man kidnapped in Dubai, possibly by Iranian elements, after a lack of information on his whereabouts and a series of “cruel and misleading rumours”.

By Amanda Fisher

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Published: Tue 27 Aug 2013, 12:59 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:12 PM

Atena Yazdi fled to London from Dubai with her two teenage children after her husband, Abbas Yazdi, 44, went missing on June 25, after giving evidence in an international arbitration via video conference to a court in The Hague.

Yazdi, who has close personal and business ties to Mehdi Rafsanjani, former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s son, had been testifying in the case which related to the National Iranian Oil Company’s 2009 cancellation of a contract with the UAE’s Crescent Petroleum. He was due to return to finish his evidence the following day. Police in Dubai and Britain are investigating whether the man was kidnapped by Iranian agents, while British Foreign Minister William Hague pursued the matter with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi.

On August 18, Yazdi wrote she was “sure” her husband would return soon.

In response to a comment from a Facebook friend saying, “I am sure he will come back soon darling (sic)”, Yazdi replied “I’m sure too”.

However, just two days later on August 20, she wrote in Persian that she was hating life and no one could help her.

These posts followed a statement on her Facebook page last week, stating that her husband had been missing for more than 50 days and “to date I have not had evidence of what has happened to Abbas”.

While she said she knew UK and Dubai police were “committed to finding out what has happened to my husband”, the lack of public information on the details of the case had caused a large degree of speculation over her husband’s whereabouts and the circumstances of the case.

“A number of cruel and misleading rumours have been published and broadcast, often where I or my friends or family are wrongly named as the source of such rumours. One such rumour is that I have had contact with Iranian opposition groups. That is not true. I am not interested in politics.”

Her only wish was to have her husband home again, she said.

“We are struggling to get through each day. We miss Abbas desperately and each day we hope and pray to hear news.”

The kidnapping had been particularly tough on her children, who have been placed in local schools, but Atena wrote she was determined to stay strong for the sake of her children.

“My children long for this nightmare to end. They long to be reunited with their father, to go home, for life to return to normal and for us to be a happy family again.”

She also made a plea to acquaintances to think twice before they spoke out in the media.

“It is extremely difficult to protect (my children) from unfounded rumours in the media. They are so young to have to face such an agonising and uncertain future.”

In the statement, Yazdi also expressed gratitude to friends and family for their love and support, to the UK government for its “support and care”, and Dubai authorities for their help.

“I know they are giving this case their urgent attention.” -amanda@khaleejtimes.com

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