Monday, January 15, 2007

Short Memory Or A Big Brass Set...You Decide

Everyone by now, I'm sure, has heard that U.S. forces in Iraq have captured five Iranians who were attempting to provide monetary and material support to the terrorists (in this case Shia groups) operating against Iraqi and U.S. forces. If you're Iran in a case like this, you either disavow them or you go all fire and brimstone. Well, they chose the latter.

Tehran denied the five detained Iranians had been involved in financing and arming insurgents in Iraq.

"Their job was basically consular, official and in the framework of regulations," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Sunday during his weekly media briefing. "What Americans express was incorrect and hyperbole against Iran in order to justify their acts."

Hosseini said the Iranian representative office where the five men worked was established in Irbil in 1992 to facilitate the visit of Kurdish businessmen and medical patients from Iraq to Iran.

"Then, both countries agreed to promote it to consular level," he said. "Agreement for formation of the Iranian consulate section was exchanged in the current (Iranian) year."

Hosseini accused the United States of resorting to "hostility and conflict toward neighbors of Iraq" because he said the country did not want to acknowledge it had failed to bring stability to Iraq.

"The United States should release all the five persons, prevent possible similar acts and compensate damages," Hosseini said.

So, just to clarify, the Iranian government's response is that the U.S. is violating consular rules by illegally seizing consular officials. Everybody get that? Is there a statue of limitations on irony? Could someone maybe hand a Wikipedia print-out to Hosseini or something?

I can't wait to see how this one plays out.


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