December 29, 2006 -- Iran says two Iranians being held by U.S. forces in Iraq were released early today and handed over to Iranian officials in Baghdad.
Iran's official news agency (IRNA) reports the handover took place in the presence of Iraqi National Security Adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubay'i.
Iraq's Foreign Ministry says the two are on their way home to Iran. U.S. officials had said the diplomats were seized in raids directed at Iranians suspected of planning attacks on Iraqi security forces.
Iranian officials have condemned the move and said it violated international norms.
Iraq And Iran
Iranian Shi'a protesting the Golden Mosque Bombing in Iraq on February 24
WHAT IS GOING ON? On March 8, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a roundtable discussion on relations between Iraq and Iran. Although most analysts agree that Iran has been actively involved in Iraq since the U.S.-led military operation to oust former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, they continue to debate the nature, extent, and intent of that involvement. The RFE/RL briefing featured WAYNE WHITE, former deputy director of the U.S. State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research's Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia, and A. WILLIAM SAMII, RFE/RL's regional analyst for Iran and editor of the "RFE/RL Iran Report."