Friday, January 12, 2007

Detained Iranians were awaiting diplomatic status

Who is running this thing?

A day after we learned of the U.S. assault on an Iranian office in Irbil, the Iraqi government says the Iranians were operating with permission, and Kurdish officials are asking for their release.

The Iraqi foreign minister said Friday that the five Iranians detained by U.S.-led forces in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq were working in a liaison office that had government approval and was in the process of being approved as a consulate.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, also said U.S. forces tried to seize more people at the airport in Irbil, 220 miles north of Baghdad, prompting a confrontation with Kurdish troops guarding the facility that was resolved without casualties.


"This office is not new and has been there for more than 10 years," [Zebari] said. "We are now in the process of changing these offices to consulates and ... we will open consulates in Iran."
The AP reports the Kurds are condemning the raid in Irbil, and are asking for the release of the Iranians. This is in addition to the U.S. almost getting into a firefight with them at the airport.

It seems the United States and the Sunnis are the only parties who object to the special relationship developing between Iran and Iraq's "young democracy."

If Bush really does manage to instigate a shooting war with Iran, Iraq could become even more hostile to Americans than it already is.