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Amerika serang konsulat Iran di Iraq Utara

Permainan Amerika cukup licit. Apakah ini permulaan perbalahan antara Amerika dan Iran, atau ianya dalang perpecahan antara sunni dan syiah - zy

US storms Iran consulate in Arbil
Thursday, January 11, 2007

US forces, backed by helicopters, have raided the Iranian consulate's offices in Arbil, the Kurdish capital in northern Iraq.

A number of arrests were made and computers and documents seized during Thursday's raids.

An Iranian foreign ministry official said US troops arrested five staff members, including diplomats and staff.

The US military made no direct mention of Iranians in a statement issued after the raid but said six "individuals" had been arrested during "routine" operations in the area.

They were held on suspicion of being "closely tied to activities targeting Iraqi and coalition forces," it said

According to Iranian state television, Tehran's embassy in Baghdad has sent a note to Iraq's foreign ministry calling for the immediate release of the arrested staff members.

A Kurdish TV station said Kurdish security forces took over the building after the Americans left the area. The Kurdish regional government made no immediate comment.

International law 'violated'

Mohammad Ali Hosseini, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman condemned the raid and said it was a violation of international law.

"The activity of all those people at our office in Arbil was legal and was in co-operation with, and had the approval of, the Iraqi side," Hosseini told Iran's state-owned Arabic language satellite channel Al-Alam.

"There is no justification for this behaviour of the Americans, particularly because Iraqi officials were not informed about this move," he added.

On Thursday, Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, warned Iran that the United States would not "stand idly by" if Tehran tries to disrupt Washington's renewed effort to stabilise Iraq.

Speaking just hours after the Arbil raid, Rice said Washington was determined to crack down on Iran's "regional aggression".

US officials have repeatedly accused Iran of interfering in Iraq and supplying Shia militias with weapons.

In December, US forces in Baghdad arrested a number of Iranians they said were suspected of planning attacks on Iraqi security forces, including diplomats who were later turned over to Iraqi authorities. Al Jazeera and agencies.

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