View Full Version : U.S. Forces Storm Iranian Consulate In Arbil Iraq, Arrest Five

01-11-2007, 09:50 AM
US forces storm Iranian consulate in Arbil, arrest five


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Thursday January 11, 2007

Baghdad- US forces accompanied by military helicopters on Thursday stormed the Iranian consulate in the Kurdish city of Arbil, arresting five Iranian employees, a Kurdish security source said. In addition to the arrests, US troops confiscated documents and computers, while Kurdish security authorities cordoned off all roads leading to the building.

In Tehran, the Iranian leadership responded by summoning diplomats representing US interests. Local Kurdish officials in northern Iraq meanwhile refused to comment on the incident.

Arbil is located 350 kilometres north of Baghdad in Iraqi Kurdistan province, the only region gaining an official recognition as a federal entity.

The raid came a day after US President George W Bush said the United States would confront Iran and Syria, accusing them of fomenting violence in Iraq by allowing insurgents into the country and supporting attacks on American troops.

The political and religious representatives of Iraq's Sunni Muslim population accuse the Iranian leadership of supporting Shiite militias and even sending its own fighters to take part in dead squads.

In Tehran, Iran summoned the ambassadors of Iraq and Switzerland (which represents US interests in Iran) over the consulate raid, Iran's state television network IRIB reported.

The Iranian foreign ministry demanded explanations from the two ambassadors on the raid and stressed that the consulate was established in the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region upon the explicit wishes of the Iraqi government and Iraqi Kurdish officials.