MP Calls on US to Release Iranian Diplomats

A prominent Iranian lawmaker called on the US to release the five Iranian diplomats to pave the ground for Iran’s active presence in Iraq’s security talks in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The five diplomats were kidnapped during a raid by the US troops on Iran’s consulate general in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil several months ago.

Speaking to FNA here on Saturday, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaoddin Boroujerdi reminded that the Sharm el-Sheikh summit is due to discuss issues of a country which is of grave importance to Iran.
“Therefore, giving up the scene of Sharm el-Sheikh summit to others is not in line with Iran’s national interests,” he continued.

Reminding that immediate cessation of hostilities sets Iran’s policy on Iraq, the legislator said, Therefore, Iran should practice a stable and active presence in such meetings.

Meantime, he said that the US is striving to project responsibility of its defeat in Iraq on other actors.

“Americans seek to blame others for the current problems in Iraq, pretending that the US is clean of mistakes and errors. And that’s why Americans have embarked on adopting measures in violation of the international rules and regulations, including the arrest of the Iranian diplomats,” the legislative official added.

He further termed the crisis in Iraq to be the effect of the wrong policies of the US president and Republicans, and said, “And that is why even the US Senate and Congress are showing opposition to Bush’s Iraq policies. A look at the relevant approvals of the said two legislative bodies illustrates the fact.”

Boroujerdi called on Tehran to maintain an active presence in the Egypt meeting, saying that Iran should proclaim its views and stances on the United States’ errors in Iraq in a very straightforward manner.

Referring to the tone of the US officials about Iran’s participation at the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting, he said, “Republicans seek to make interactions in a bid to stand up to the powerful and decisive stances of the Democrats. Considering that Democrats offered talks with Iran and Syria since they won power in the Senate and Congress, Republicans strive to open up a channel to negotiations with Iran in an effort to give a proper response to the Democrats. And that’s why Bush and his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made frequent proposals about Iran’s attendance at the conference.”

The MP reminded, “If Rice does not succeed in attending negotiations with Iran – which seems to be the likely case, given the current conditions and developments – Republicans will then be empty-handed before the powerful stance of the Democrats. Thus, the US administration had better set the Iranian diplomats free as a first step in paving the ground for Iran’s attendance at the meeting.”

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