Arab media reported on Wednesday evening that the regime in Tehran was seeking the release of several Iranian agents from Israel, in exchange for Russian-Israeli citizen Elizabeth Tsurkov. According to New Arab, the academic was kidnapped for this purpose.
The Russian-Israeli researcher and writer specializing in Syrian affairs, and a doctoral student at Princeton University, was abducted in March by the Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militia.
“Elizabeth Tsurkov is still alive and we consider Iraq responsible for her fate and well-being,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s office said earlier in July.
Tsurkov arrived in Baghdad “at the beginning of December 2022” with a “Russian passport”, according to a Western diplomat posted in Iraq who requested anonymity, although it is illegal for an Israeli to enter the enemy country. Russia and the USA are cooperating with Israel to secure her release.
For its part, the Iraqi government has opened an investigation into the kidnapping of the Israeli academic in the country, announced its spokesman, Bassem al-Awadi.