IranIraqIraq War

Iran Watch: United States Led Forces Detain 6 Iranians in Iraq

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Iraqi Shiite cleric Abdel Aziz al-Hakim speaks during a conference in the holy city of Najaf. Iran has condemned as “provocative” a raid by US troops on the Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil during which five employees were arrested.

AP: U.S.-led forces detain 6 Iranian workers

U.S.-led multinational forces detained six Iranians Thursday at Tehran’s diplomatic mission in the northern city of Irbil, Iraqi officials said, as President Bush accused Iran and Syria of aiding militants and promised to “interrupt” the flow of support as part of his new war strategy.

The U.S. military said it had taken six people into custody in the Irbil region but made no mention of a raid on the Iranian consulate.

The forces entered the building about 3 a.m., detaining the Iranians and confiscating computers and documents, two senior local Kurdish officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. Irbil is a city in the Kurdish-controlled north, 220 miles from Baghdad.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the government was seeking clarification from the Americans and the Iranians “about these people and what they were doing there and whether they were employees.”

In Tehran, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Iraqi and Swiss ambassadors and “demanded an explanation” about the incident. Switzerland represents American interests in Iran, where there is no U.S. Embassy.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run radio that the raid was “against a diplomatic mission” since the “presence of Iranian staffers in Irbil was legal.” Hosseini claimed the action by coalition forces reflected a “continuation of pressure” on Iran, aiming to “create tension” between
Iraq and its neighbors.

Oh Please – the Iranians Protest too much. Iran has been complicit in killing American troops in Iraq.

This is a war. And……

President Bush put Iran and Syria on notice last night.

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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seen here in Tokyo in 2006, warned Iran that the United States won’t “stand idly by” if Tehran tries to disrupt Washington’s renewed effort to stabilize Iraq.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run radio that the raid was “against a diplomatic mission” since the “presence of Iranian staffers in Irbil was legal.” Hosseini claimed the action by coalition forces reflected a “continuation of pressure” on Iran, aiming to “create tension” between
Iraq and its neighbors.

At the Pentagon, a senior U.S. military official said the building was not a consulate and did not have any diplomatic status. The six Iranians were taken in a “cordon-and-knock” operation, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

The raid came as tensions are high between Iran and the United States. The Bush administration has accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons and of helping fuel violence in Iraq. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, is trying to expand Tehran’s role in Iraq as a counter to U.S. influence in the Gulf region.

If Iran wants good relations with the United States, then they must immediately halt uranium enrichment and stop fomenting violence in Iraq.

If not, then Iran will suffer the consequences……

Stay tuned…….


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