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Four Iraqi Officers Held Over Diplomat Kidnapping

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari (file photo) (epa) February 7, 2007 -- Iraq's foreign minister says four Iraqi military officers have been detained in connection with the kidnapping of an Iranian diplomat in Baghdad on February 4.

Hoshyar Zebari said there were questions about the officers' allegiances, but he did not elaborate.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Husseini said on February 6 that Jalal Sharafi, the second secretary at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, was abducted on February 4.

MORE: Analysis of rising U.S.-Iranian tensions over the kidnapping.

Iran blamed men linked with Iraq's Defense Ministry for the kidnapping and said it held the United States responsible for the diplomat's life.

In Tehran today, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said Iran was following the case closely.

"We are in close contact with the Iraqi authorities regarding the situation with our country's diplomat kidnapped in Baghdad," Mottaki said.

A spokesman for the U.S. military said earlier the incident did not involve U.S. troops or Iraqis who report to them.

(AFP, IRNA, Reuters)

Iraq And Iran

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."


Listen to the complete RFE/RL briefing (about 75 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


Iran/Iraq: Bilateral Ties Improving Despite U.S. Worries

Renewed Speculation About Tehran And Instability In Iraq

Iran/Iraq: Neighbors Mending Ties, But Outstanding Issues Remain


RFE/RL's coverage of Iran. RFE/RL's coverage of Iraq.