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Iran demands US free arrested 'diplomats' in Iraq

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

Tehran, Jan 14: Iran is demanding the immediate release offive Iranians held by US forces in Iraq, a foreign ministry spokesmansaid today, adding that the five are diplomats.

The five were arrested on Thursday in the northern Iraqi town ofArbil and the US military has accused them of links to an IranianRevolutionary Guard group that provides weapons to Iraqi insurgents.

''Americans should immediately release the five Iranians and paycompensation for the damages they caused to our office in Arbil,''Mohammad Ali Hosseini told a weekly news conference, adding the fivewere ''involved in consulate affairs''.

''Their activities were legal and in the framework of law,''Hosseini said when asked whether the five Iranians were members ofIran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

US President George W Bush said on Wednesday he would sendthousands more US troops to Iraq and pledged to interrupt a ''flow ofsupport'' to insurgents from Iran.

Tehran denies backing the insurgency and blames US troops for theviolence and for stoking tensions between Iraq's Shi'ite and SunniMuslims.

''Americans want to radicalise the atmosphere in Iraq to justify their occupation, but we will act wisely,'' Hosseini said.


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