Iran to Reopen Consulates in Northern Iraq

A01177147.jpgIran has decided to reopen its consulate centers in the northern Iraqi cities of Erbil and Suleymaniah, an Iranian official said here on Saturday. Tehran suspended its diplomatic activities in certain parts of the Iraqi Kurdistan after five of its mission staffers were abducted during a raid by the US troops on its consulate general in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil last January. After ten months, the five diplomats are still under detention while they have been deprived of their most basic rights, including a meeting with their family members.

Speaking to FNA, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Undersecretary for Home Security Mohammad Jafari said that in a second round of talks attended by Iranian officials and a delegation dispatched by the local government of the Iraqi Kurdistan here in Tehran Saturday morning, the Iraqi side has assured its serious follow-up to the case of the five diplomats arrested in Erbil and the case of Mahmoud Farhadi, an Iranian trade official who was also kidnapped by the US troops in the northern Iraqi city of Suleymaniah last month.

Jafari said that during the meeting, Iran accepted to reopen its consulates in Erbil and Suleymaniah, adding, “The Iraqi delegation also briefed the other side about its plan for preventing infiltration of terrorist groups from Iraq into Iranian territory, and the two sides decided to form a joint security committee to implement the plan.”

He said that the first session of the security committee was held immediately after the morning meeting between the two sides.

“Sessions of the joint security committee will continue for a specified period and its approvals are binding on both sides,” the official said, adding that the committee would even hold meetings at the highest levels possible whenever necessary.

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