Iraqi FM Pledges Release of US-Held Iranians
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has pledged to Iran that Iraq will ensure the release of five Iranians the US is holding. The Iraqi Kurd has criticized the US raid on an Iranian office in Irbil and the detention of 5 Iranians linked to the IRGC's Qods Force since the event happened late last week.
Tehran denied the five detained Iranians had been involved in financing and arming insurgents in Iraq.
"The capture of Iranian diplomats is an insult to the Iraqi government and people," ambassador Hassan Kazimi Qomi said in a news conference at the Iranian embassy in Baghdad. Iraqi "Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told me that they will be released within days."Asked why he believed the Americans carried the raid, Qomi said through a translator from Farsi to Arabic that "they want to destabilize relations between Iraq and Iran."
While Zebari states that the United States clearly and openly seeks to "destabilize relations between Iraq and Iran" the evidence shows that Iran has been fueling both sides of the rising sectarian violence - arming, funding and coordinating with both al-Qaeda in Iraq and Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Iraqi politicians who defend Iran and seek to have members of their Qods Force released under the guise of diplomatic status should be looked at with much scrutiny.