G.I.’s in Iraq Raid Iranians’ Offices

Published: January 12, 2007

ERBIL, Iraq, Jan. 11 — American troops backed by attack helicopters and armored vehicles raided an Iranian diplomatic office in the dead of night early Thursday and detained as many as six of the Iranians working inside.

The raid was the second surprise seizure of Iranians by the American military in Iraq in recent weeks and came a day after President Bush bluntly warned Iran to quit meddling in Iraqi affairs.

There was a tense standoff later in the day between the American soldiers and about 100 Kurdish troops, who surrounded the American armored vehicles for about two hours in this northern Iraqi city.

The attack was denounced by senior Kurdish officials, who are normally America’s closest allies in Iraq but regarded the action as an affront to their sovereignty in this highly tribal swath of the country. Iran’s Foreign Ministry reacted in Tehran with a harsh denunciation that threatened to escalate tensions with the Bush administration.

Full story at The New York Times  

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