Revealed: hand of Iran behind Britons' Baghdad kidnapping / Mona Mahmood, Maggie O'Kane, Guy Grandje

The five British men kidnapped in Iraq were taken in an operation led and masterminded by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, according to evidence uncovered during an extensive investigation by the Guardian.

The men – including Peter Moore, who was released today after more than two years in captivity – were taken to Iran within a day of their kidnap from a government ministry building in Baghdad in 2007, several senior sources in Iraq and Iran have told the Guardian.

They were incarcerated in prisons run by the al-Quds force, a unit that specialises in foreign operations on behalf of the Iranian government.

One of the kidnappers has told this paper that three of the Britons – Jason Creswell, Jason Swindlehurst and Alec Maclachlan – were subsequently killed after the British government refused to take ransom demands seriously.

Last night it emerged that part of the deal that led to the release of Moore involved the handing over of a young Shia cleric, Qais al-Khazali, a leading figure in the Righteous League, which emerged in 2006 a... >>>

recommended by Monda