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Four Iraqi Officers Held Over Diplomat Kidnapping

February 7, 2007, RFE/RL -- Iraq's foreign minister says four Iraqi military officers have been detained in connection with the kidnapping of an Iranian diplomat in Baghdad on February 4.

Hoshyar Zebari said there were questions about the officers' allegiances, but he did not elaborate.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Husseini said on February 6 that Jalal Sharafi, the second secretary at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, was abducted on February 4.

Iran blamed men linked with Iraq's Defense Ministry for the kidnapping and said it held the United States responsible for the diplomat's life.

In Tehran today, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said Iran was following the case closely.

"We are in close contact with the Iraqi authorities regarding the situation with our country's diplomat kidnapped in Baghdad," Mottaki said.

A spokesman for the U.S. military said earlier the incident did not involve U.S. troops or Iraqis who report to them.

(AFP, IRNA, Reuters)

... Payvand News - 2/7/07 ... --

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