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3 Iranian consuls start work in Iraq
Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:15AM
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The Iranian consulate in Arbil, Iraq
Newly-appointed Iranian consuls will take office in Arbil, Karbala and Sulaimaniya as Iran's foreign minister begins a tour of Iraq.

"The new officials will begin their work at Iran's consulate offices in Arbil, Karbala and Sulaimaniya during the foreign minister's visit to Iraq," the Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazemi-Qomi announced on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki who arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday is currently in Arbil and will discuss economic and political ties with the neighboring country's senior officials.

The three consuls will begin their work in Iraq, as three other Iranian diplomats, who were abducted by US forces from the Arbil consulate in 2007, remain in detention.

US forces broke into the Iranian consulate on January 11, 2007 and captured five Iranian diplomats, two of whom were later released. The consulate, which was closed following the incident reopened later on that year.

Washington claims that the Arbil incident was part of a 'routine security operation' in the area.

Iran, however, has repeatedly called for the immediate release of the diplomats, who are being held without trial in violation of the Geneva Convention.

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