The failure of Iraq to have the Iranians released simply shows that Iraq sovereignty is a fig leaf covering the actual control by the US and its allies when it comes to security issues. The US goes its own way in security operations and in capturing and imprisoning persons they think are insurgents or involved with them. This is true also of the UK that has even attacked Iraqi police stations to release arrested Brits.
The double standard in reporting is evident. When 15 sailors are apprehended in disputed waters by Iran all hell breaks lose and there are cries for their release and outrage that it should happen. However the US continues to hold the five Iranians it snatched from a quasi-consul building and there is no outcry from the west at all.
Iran warns Iraq over Iranians held by U.S. forces
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has warned neighbouring Iraq that its failure to secure the release of five Iranians detained there by U.S. forces could impair Tehran's cooperation with Baghdad, a senior official was quoted on Sunday as saying.
Washington says the five men, detained in January in northern Iraq, are linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guards and backing militants. Iran insists they are diplomats, wants them freed and has requested access.
"We are serious about the way we will confront those behind the arrest of the Iranian diplomats in Iraq," the semi-official Fars news agency, seen as close to the Revolutionary Guards, quoted Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is seen in this March 24, 2007 file photo in New York. Iran has warned neighbouring Iraq that its failure to secure the release of five Iranians detained there by U.S. forces could impair Tehran's cooperation with Baghdad, Mottaki was quoted on Sunday as saying. (REUTERS/Chip East)
"On Friday I sent a letter to the Iraqi foreign minister and other officials in Iraq and pointed out that their efforts over the release of the diplomats have had no results and I emphasised that if this situation continues we will have problems in taking other steps to help Iraq," he said.
Earlier on Sunday, a senior adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Iran had refused to allow a plane carrying the Iraqi leader on a trip to Asia to cross its air space overnight.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini played down the incident at a regular news conference on Sunday and it was not clear whether it was linked to Mottaki's warning.
Mottaki, whose comments were originally made to an Iranian television channel, added that Iran had requested the help of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the arrested Iranians.
The U.S. military has said it is considering an Iranian request to visit the men. An International Committee of the Red Cross team has visited the detained Iranians twice, a U.S. military official said on Friday.
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