The Irbil raid
At the Pentagon, a senior U.S. military official said the building was not a consulate and did not have any diplomatic status. The six Iranians were taken in a "cordon-and-knock" operation, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
Iran Press News reported that based on unconfirmed received reports from reliable sources in Iraq, Hassan Abbasi was among those who was arrested in the Thursday, January 11th early-morning raid in the Iraqi town of Erbil. An excerpt:Abbasi has been among the highest ranking members of the Islamic regime's terror operations for many years, acting as Khamenei's foreign policy and defense advisor. Abbasi has had an active voice under not only Khamenei but also Rafsanjani and Khatami as well. The Martyrdom Brigades of the Global Islamic Awakening is controlled by Abbasi.
Dafydd at Big Lizards points out the ludicrous position taken by Iran on the raid:
the Iranians are showing a great deal of restraint... the kind one shows when one has been caught with his hand in the milk bottle:Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run radio the raid was "against a diplomatic mission" since the "presence of Iranian staffers in Irbil was legal." Hosseini claimed the action by coalition forces reflected a "continuation of pressure" on Iran, aiming to "create tension" between Iraq and its neighbors.Note the tortured logic to imply what they seem wary of saying out loud, lest they be called up on to prove it: they do not actually claim that those in the building have "diplomatic immunity," but boy do they try to imply it! Evidently, any Iranian in Iraq legally is, therefore, on a "diplomatic mission." What does that say about those Iranians in Iraq illegally... such as those four we caught in December? We're still holding two of them; the other two actually did have diplomatic immunity -- which shows the Iranians are not shy about asserting it when they can prove their case.And what about this minor incident? Do the Iranians think we've forgotten that we seized from Iraqi Shiite militia members a batch of Iranian-made weapons and munitions -- with a manufacturer's date of 2006?