Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Iran Protests Iraq's Arrest of Four Iranian News Agency Workers

Bloomberg.com: Top Worldwide: "Iran Protests Iraq's Arrest of Four Iranian News Agency Workers
Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Iran protested Iraq's arrest of four people working for the Iranian news agency in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and demanded their immediate release, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.
Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency cited Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iran's envoy in Baghdad, as saying the head of the agency's bureau in Baghdad and three local workers were arrested on Monday by Iraqi police. They are being held at the Iraqi Interior Ministry and no reason for their detention has been given, Qomi said.
The arrests are an ``illegal and unacceptable move,'' IRNA cited the Foreign Ministry as saying yesterday in Tehran. Iran also asked Iraq for clarifications about an Iranian diplomat missing since last week, the ministry said.
Relations between the neighboring countries were strained this week after Iraq's defense minister accused Iran of supplying arms to the militia of Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, which is fighting U.S.-led coalition forces in Najaf and the Baghdad district of Sadr City. Iran denied the charges. "

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