(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Iran says the lives of its nationals kidnapped while riding a bus near the Syrian capital last weekend are in the hands of the U.S.
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the Swiss envoy in Tehran that it will be up to Washington to use its influence to secure the release of the 48 Shiite pilgrims abducted by rebel forces in Syria with no preconditions, according to Iran's state-run media.
It's unclear why the U.S. should be held responsible for the Iranians. The foreign minister addressed the Swiss envoy, who acts as an intermediary between Washington and Tehran since the two governments haven't had diplomatic ties for decades.
A representative for the Free Syrian Army has alleged that the captured Iranians are actually members of the elite Revolutionary Guard, who were in Syria to help the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
There were also reports that three of the hostages were killed by Syrian military shelling and that the rest of the hostages are in danger if the attacks on opposition forces don't stop.
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