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Iranian Office Raided By U.S. Is 'Not Yet Consulate'

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari (file photo) (AFP) January 12, 2007 -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says an Iranian office raided by U.S. troops was not a full consulate with formal diplomatic protection.

The January 11 raid in the northern city of Irbil, in which U.S. troops detained six people, triggered a diplomatic row, with Tehran accusing the U.S. force of violating the building's diplomatic status.

But Zebari said today that the building was a "liaison office" representing Tehran's interests.

The Russian Foreign Ministry today called the raid "absolutely unacceptable" and a violation of international law.

While not commenting specifically on the raid, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned on January 11 that the United States would not "stand idly by" if Iran tried to disrupt Washington's renewed efforts to stabilize Iraq.

(compiled from agency reports)

The International Coalition In Iraq

The International Coalition In Iraq
Georgian soldiers marking Georgian Independence Day in Baghdad on June 6 (epa)

COALITION MEMBERS: In addition to the United States, 28 countries are Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) contributors as of May 31, 2006: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Fiji is participating as part of the UN mission in Iraq. Hungary, Iceland, Slovenia, and Turkey are NATO countries supporting Iraqi stability operations but are not part of MNF-I.

NON-U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL IN IRAQ: United Kingdom, 8,000 as of May 26, 2006; South Korea, 3,237 as of May 9, 2006; Italy, 2,900 as of April 27, 2006; Poland, 900 as of May 30, 2006; Australia, 900 as of March 28, 2006; Georgia, 900 as of March 24, 2006; Romania, 860 as of April 27, 2006; Japan, 600 as of May 30, 2006; Denmark, 530 as of May 23, 2006; All others, 1,140.

(Source: The Washington-based Brooking Institution’s Iraq Index of June 15, 2006)

THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

RADIO FREE IRAQ: To visit the Arab-language website of RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq, click here.