Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Way to go there, Bush...

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi and Iranian authorities slammed the United States on Monday for having arrested several Iranians who were visiting Iraq.

A U.S. official said the Iranians were suspected of involvement in attacks against Iraqi security forces.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini warned that "this action is not justifiable by any international rules or regulations and will have unpleasant consequences," Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

A spokesman for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Talabani had invited the Iranians to the country, and the president was "unhappy" about the arrests.

The U.S. National Security Council confirmed that the American military arrested at least four Iranians in raids during the past week in Iraq, including two diplomats.

NSC spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the two diplomats were questioned, turned over to the Iraqi government and released.

At least two others, who are members of the Iranian military, remain in U.S. military custody while an investigation is conducted on whether they were involved in attacks on security forces in Iraq, Johndroe said.

The U.S. military has not responded to requests for comment.

Well of course it hasn't. Own up to mistakes? That takes a full-blown investigation and at least a few months if not years before the whisper of 'sorry about that - war is hell' makes it way out of the lips of the Pentagon spokesrobot.

Talabani's spokesman said the Iraqi president had invited the Iranian officials during his visit to Tehran. It was done "in the framework of an agreement to improve security in Iraq." The spokesman described the Iranians as "security officials."

So much for that.

Iraqi government: 'Yeah, stop by sometime. We'll talk.'

US military: 'Look! Iranians!!'

Iraqi government: 'Whoops. Sorry to hear you got arrested. We're a sovereign country. How did that happen?'

Related: And meanwhile, following the raid by UK troops on the police station in Basra, the local government there is outraged:

Basra City Council has said it will not co-operate from UK forces in southern Iraq after the police's serious crimes unit was disbanded by troops.

More than 1,000 troops blew up a police station run by the unit, which has been blamed for robberies and death squads.

Major Charlie Burbridge said local politics was "complicated" and the actions had been justified.

Mohammed al Abadi, head of the city's council, said the raid was illegal and threatened to stop co-operation.

Basra police commander Brigadier General Ali Ibrahim also expressed similar views.

"This storming operation is illegal and violates human rights," he said. "We think that what the operation sought to achieve is very simple and could have been settled by Iraqi troops."

Looks like this occupation thing is starting to wear very thin.

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