Iranian diplomats remain in Iraqi jail
Iraq-Iran-USA, Politics, 12/24/2008
Iran's Ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said yesterday that there are no limits on the violation of prisoners' rights in Iraq by American troops.
The diplomat made the remark while commenting on US forces misbehavior towards the detained Iranian diplomats who were kept in the Iraqi jails.
A group of five Iranian diplomats were kidnapped in the city of Erbil, north of Iraq, on January 11, 2006, when US forces broke into the Iranian consulate after disarming its guards and using force to break into the building.
Qomi's remarks came after his meeting with the diplomats' families who had visited their loved ones in the Iraqi prisons last Friday for only four hours.
The meeting was held through coordination of the Iraqi government and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Qomi said that the US troops' raid on the Iranian consulate was illegal and a move aimed at making good on American forces' failure in achieving their goals in Iraq.
The ambassador expressed hope that the problem of the Iranian diplomats would be resolved soon and they would be released within coming months.
Based on the newly-signed security agreement between Iraq and the US, the American troops are to deliver some 15,000 prisoners to the government of Iraq based on a timetable as of the beginning of 2009.
Referring to his meeting with Iraqi officials over the past two days, the ambassador stressed, "We are optimistic about the release of the Iranian diplomats in coming months after our talks with the Iraqi officials."
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