It Has Begun: US Raids Iranian "Consulate" in Iraq

Well, that was fast:

TEHRAN (Reuters) – U.S. troops raided an Iranian consular office in northern Iraq on Thursday and detained five employees, the official Iranian IRNA news agency said.

It said Iran had sent a protest letter to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry about the U.S. raid in the city of Arbil.

“Around 5.00 a.m., after disarming the guards they (U.S. troops) broke into the office, without giving any explanation and arrested five employees,” the official IRNA news agency reported, adding that documents and computers were seized.

CNSNews has more:

The Bush administration accuses Iran of fueling sectarian violence in Iraq, and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is a constant worry. In his speech Wednesday night, President Bush promised to find and destroy the Iranian and Syrian networks that are assisting America’s enemies in Iraq. “These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq,” Bush said in his speech to the nation. “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.” Based on press reports, it looks like the effort already has begun.

I’d say so. Now we’re down to the brass tacks.

Added: I should point out that the word “consulate” is a term the Iranians use. The building isn’t a real consulate like the United States Embassy that Iranian militants raided back in 1979.

Larry Kudlow at The Corner reminds us that the raid comes just days after the US banned Iran’s bank Bank Sepah from American financial markets.

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