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U.S. Says It Detained Iranian Agent In Iraq

September 20, 2007 -- The U.S. military says its troops have arrested an Iranian man accused of smuggling roadside bombs into Iraq and training foreign fighters.

A statement said the suspect was an officer of the Al-Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. He was arrested in the Kurdish city of Al-Sulaymaniyah, in northern Iraq.

Al-Sulaymaniyah security chief Saif al-Den Ahmed said the Iranian was detained during a pre-dawn raid by U.S. troops on a hotel in the city. He was reportedly a member of an Iranian delegation staying at the hotel.

Iran protested the detention. The Foreign Ministry said the man was part of an official delegation that was invited by the authorities in Al-Sulaymaniyah.

Earlier this year, U.S. forces detained five Iranians in the Kurdish city of Irbil, accusing them of supporting militants.

Iran says the five -- who remain in custody -- are diplomats.

(compiled from agency reports)

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.