After the US makes a lot of hue and cry over its three citizens detained in Iran after illegally entering the country, Iran questions Washington’s contradictory attitude to US and Iranian citizens.
“US officials and media have put making continual news about its detained citizens on their agenda but took no measure concerning the two and a half years’ illegal imprisonment of Iranian diplomats in Arbil [Iraq] who had the right to political safety taken away from them,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said in response to a question on US double standards toward American and Iranian nationals.
Iran’s security officials have confirmed that three Americans identified as Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 30 and Joshua Fattal, 27 were arrested in the western Iranian city of Marivan on July 31, after ‘illegal entry’ into the country.
“It is surprising that US officials and media have no sense of humanity about Iranians who are arrested or abducted in the US and other countries for baseless reasons,” Qashqavi said.
On January 11, 2007, US soldiers broke into the Iranian consulate in the northern Kurdish city of Arbil, seizing the consulate’s computers, documents and staff, including five diplomats. Two diplomats were later released.
The five remaining Iranians, including three diplomats–kept in Iraq under US custody without charge– were released and returned back after 2.5 years.
They were released on 12 Jul 2009 in line with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the US and Iraq. Under the terms of the agreement, the US military had to deliver more than 1,500 prisoners including the non-Iraqi nationals in its custody to the Baghdad government.