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Mottaki says arrest of Iranian diplomats was a blow to Iraq

TEHRAN, May 5 (Mehr News Agency) - The U.S. raid on the Iranian consulate in Irbil was a "foul act" that harmed the Iraqi government's reputation, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki told the Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechervan Idris Barzani on the sidelines of the Sharm el-Sheikh conference in Egypt on Friday.

U.S. troops stormed the Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on January 11 and arrested five diplomats under the pretext that they were fomenting violence in Iraq.

Barzani said, "We will not allow, under any circumstances, any harm arise against Iran's national interests from the land of Kurdistan."

Barzani also expressed hope that the Iranian diplomats would be released soon.

Mottaki also said Iraq is undergoing the most sensitive period in its history.

Although the dictatorship is over in Iraq, the conspiracies and plots against Iraqi national interests threaten the country, the Iranian chief diplomat noted.

The major problem in Iraq is lack of security caused by terrorists and a continued occupation, he added.

... Payvand News - 5/5/07 ...

... Payvand News - 5/5/07 ... --

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