Thursday, September 20, 2007

US troops detain Iranian official

Press TV reports that Iraqi officials have said that a member of an Iranian delegation has been kidnapped by US forces in the city of Sulaimaniya, northern Iraqi.

The Iranian official was detained at around 4.00 am after US troops raided the Sulaimaniyah Palace hotel, said Jamal Abdullah an Iraqi official, adding that the detainee was a member of an Iranian commercial delegation visiting the northern city.

US forces in Iraq have confirmed the arrest of the Iranian official, who has been identified by Tehran as Farhadi, an official with Kermanshah's Governor Office.

Officials of the autonomous region had announced earlier that the US force stormed the Sulaimaniya Palace Hotel on Thursday and arrested two Iranians who were part of a visiting commercial delegation.

The delegation had been invited by the Governor of Sulaimaniya to discuss previous agreements including the reopening of the borders and fuel export to the city.

In another incident late last month, US forces illegitimately detained a group of Iranians, including two diplomats, from a hotel in Baghdad.

Iranian officials had seriously condemned the "unjustifiable" detention of the Iranian delegation by US troops and asked for their immediate release.