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Iranian diplomats released from U.S. captivity in Iraq talk about ordeal

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (ISNA)-The two Iranian diplomats released from the U.S. detention in Iraq asked for the Iraqi officials attempt to release their three colleagues.

"We were only in charge of issuing visa for Iraqi businessmen and patients and had no other activity out of this framework so we were astounded when the U.S. troops started shooting at the consulate at three and a half in the morning," said Mousa Chegini, one of the released diplomats who worked at Iran's consulate in Arbil.

Freed diplomats returning to Tehran (November 2007)

With eyes closed and handcuffs, they (U.S. troops) got them out of the region aggressively and then kept them in dark and small solitary confinements in winter without blankets, he noted.

"In one way or another they were trying to torture us," he added recalling the cold cells, cold baths outside the building, the mental pressures by preventing them from Morning Prayer and depriving them from media and healthy drinking water.

The only change in the situation happened after 3 months since the Red Cross envoys visit by giving them the right to watch football matches on TV and a 22-minute visit with their families.

The U.S. which claims democracy and human rights has violated these rights and the immunity of diplomats and intensified Iranians hatred towards itself, he stated.

Hamid Reza Askari Shokouh, another released diplomat emphasized "since the U.S. could not prove any of its allegations against us it tried to make us confess by physical and mental torturing."

He said transferring the diplomats from the consulate to the detention center was not only the violation of international regulations but also "kidnapping."

"In spite of all physical and mental pressures we did not confess to what they wanted and emphasized that we have committed no undiplomatic measures in Iraq as the Kurdish officials were aware," Askari Shokouh noted.

The U.S. officials not being successful in Iraq and public opinion of their nation tried to deceive people by kidnapping Iranian diplomats and highlighting Iran as the factor of their failures, he continued to say another reason for this measure was souring Iran and Iraq relations but their plot being ruined they had to admit to their mistake.

The two diplomats were released after spending 9 months in the U.S. prison in Baghdad. Three other diplomats are still in detention.

... Payvand News - 01/13/08 ... --

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