US forces release one Iranian following raid on consulate

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Friday January 12, 2007

Baghdad- US forces on Friday released one Iranian out of
the six they detained in a raid on the Iranian consulate in the
Kurdish city of Arbil the previous day.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari called on the US-led
coalition forces to release the other five Iranians, Arab media
reported Friday.

The Kurdish regional government condemned the US raid. "The attack
on a consulate having immunity under the Vienna Convention on
Consular Relations of 1963 is against the efforts exerted to
establish stability all over Iraq," a spokesman said.

US forces accompanied by military helicopters stormed the Iranian
consulate in Arbil, arresting six Iranian employees and confiscating
documents and computers.

The US military said in a statement Thursday that the detainees
were "suspected of being closely tied to activities targeting Iraqi
and coalition forces."

"The detainees will be questioned and the seized documents and
equipment will be examined to determine the extent of the alleged
illegal or terrorist activity," the statement added.

Sunni Arabs in Iraq accuse Iran of supporting Shiite militias in
the country and of participating with its own fighters in murder
campaigns against Sunnis.

© 2006 - dpa German Press Agency