U.S. troops arrested an Iranian man during an early morning raid on a hotel in this northern Iraqi city Thursday and accused him of helping to smuggle a deadly type of roadside bomb into Iraq.
But the Kurdistan Regional Government in a statement called the arrest “illegitimate,” said the man was a member of a trade delegation that had been invited to Sulaimaniyah by the local government and demanded that he be released.
“Actions like these serve no one,” the statement said.
The United States has detained several Iranians in Iraq in the past year and accused them of training Iraqi insurgents and providing weapons to them. In January it took five Iranians into custody in Irbil, the Kurdish regional capital, and accused them of being members of the Iranian military. They’re still being held. Eight other Iranians who were detained last month in Baghdad were quickly released, however. [complete article]