Australia grants 3 former Iraqi diplomats asylum

Australia's decision to grant asylum to three former Iraqi diplomats and their families would not create a precedent for other Iraqis who want to flee their embattled homeland, the foreign minister said Thursday. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that the three, who were attached to the Iraqi embassy in Canberra before they were recalled in December last year, were granted asylum on humanitarian grounds. While Downer did not detail the reasons, he said the decision did not mean that all Iraqis who do not want to return to their homeland could successfully apply for asylum. "It's not a generic decision; it's a decision that relates to the circumstances of those three individual people," Downer told reporters, adding that Baghdad had not protested the decision.