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Iranian consul kidnapped in Iraq was a career diplomat

Tehran, Aug 9, IRNA -- Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said on Monday that Iranian consul kidnapped in Karbala, Iraq, Fereidoun Jahani, has been career diplomat and regular staff of the Foreign Ministry.

He rejected the allegations by the kidnappers that he has been a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

"Forgery of an identity card by the kidnappers is routine. Mr. Jahani has been a career diplomat and regular staff of the Foreign Ministry," Ramezanzadeh said dismissing a film shown on a foreign TV networks as 'fabrication business of the kidnappers`.

"Protection of the diplomats is the responsibility of the Iraqi government. Iranian government cannot stand such a violation of diplomatic immunity," Ramezanzadeh said.

"We will explore every means to secure freedom of Iranian diplomat. We are currently in contact with Iraqi transitional government to help free the diplomat soon."

Asked whether the kidnappers have demanded something in return for freedom of the Iranian diplomat, Ramezanzadeh said that for the time being no demand is on the table.

A reporter asked whether there was any decision to downgrade the level of diplomatic relations with Iraq, he said that no decision has been made to that effect yet.

Explaining why the issue of abduction had not been announced so far and it was made public after al-Arabya TV network reported the incident, he said that the diplomat has been abducted on Wednesday and the Foreign Ministry did not announce it to explore diplomatic channels for his freedom as quickly as possible.

... Payvand News - 8/9/04 ... --

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