Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Iraq claims torture
Iraq-Iran-USA, Politics, 4/9/2007
After being released, the second secretary of Iran's Embassy in Iraq, Jalal Sharafi, who was kidnapped in Baghdad on February 4, 2007, in an interview with IRNA disclosed details of his kidnaping.
IRNA reported that: Sharafi explained how he was kidnapped and tortured by American troops and agents of an Iraqi organization acting under the supervision of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Signs of torture are evident on Sharafi's body and his is now undergoing medical treatment.
"While shopping at a store in one of Baghdad streets, I was kidnapped by several agents who were holding identity cards of Iraq's Ministry of Defense.
"Then the kidnappers took me to a base near Baghdad Airport and I was investigated by a few interrogators. Some of them were speaking in Arabic and others in English," he added.
The Iranian diplomat noted that the questions of CIA agents mainly concerned Iran's presence in and influence on Iraq.
He noted that they kept on asking about the extent of Iran's assistance to Nouri al-Maleki's government and Iraqi groups.
"Upon hearing my response about Iran's official relations with the Iraqi government and officials, they continued torturing me," added the released diplomat.
"Then they attempted to encourage me to cooperate with them by changing their approach. But I told them that they can contact Iranian Embassy in Baghdad for any information, given that I am only a diplomat and cannot act beyond the limit of my legal duties," he said.
Sharafi said later he heard that under the pressure of Iraqi officials, the kidnappers were forced to release him.
"After they set me free near Baghdad Airport, I managed to get to the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad with the assistance of people," he said.
Sharafi who was kidnapped on February 4, 2007 when his car was intercepted by vehicles carrying armed men in the Karradah district of Baghdad, was released on April 5.
The BBC reported US officials denying these claims saying that "The United States had nothing to do with Mr Sharafi's detention."
Meantime, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to adopt immediate measure to make US troops release Iranian diplomats abducted in Iraq. According to Foreign Ministry Media Department report, Mottaki in a message to UN SC asked that the UN body avoid any "double standard" behaviors in this respect.
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