Iranian diplomats visit compatriots held by US

July 7, 2007 18:54


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Three Iranian diplomats in Iraq, including the ambassador, visited Saturday for the first time five Iranians held by US authorities since January, Iraq's Foreign Ministry said. The short foreign ministry statement did not say where the meeting took place. The detention of the five Iranians by US troops on Jan. 11 in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil has raised tensions between Iran and the United States. US authorities have said the five detained Iranians included the operations chief and other members of Iran's elite Quds Force, which is accused of arming and training Iraqi militants, a claim that Iran denies. The visit "was organized and facilitated today by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry for three diplomats from the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, including Iran's ambassador to Iraq, to visit the five Iranian detainees," the statement said.

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