(AP) -- An Iranian diplomat freed two months after being abducted in TEHRAN, Iran accused the CIA of torturing him during his detention, state television reported Saturday. The Iraq immediately denied any involvement in the Iranian's disappearance or release. United States
Jalal Sharafi, who was freed on Tuesday, said the CIA questioned him about
's relations with Iran and assistance to various Iraqi groups, according to state television. Iraq
"Once they heard my response that
merely has official relations with the Iraqi government and officials, they intensified tortures and tortured me through different methods days and nights," he said. Iran
Sharafi's comments came a day after 15 British sailors released by
said they had been subject to psychological pressure and coercion in captivity. The sailors were captured in the Iran Persian Gulfon March 23 for allegedly entering Iranian waters and released Wednesday.
And what has been the message imparted by these events?
And you know those 5 Iranian diplomats being held by us? They weren't the droids we sought...
- If the administration of US President George W Bush is paying attention, the drama over the 15 British sailors and marines, whose release by WASHINGTON after 12 days of detention was announced in Iran on Wednesday, was designed to convey two key messages, according to experts in Tehran . Washington
First, the initial capture of the Britons by Revolutionary Guards near the entry to the disputed Shatt-al-Arab waterway was meant to demonstrate that, despite its conventional military weakness and diplomatic isolation,
retains the ability to strike at Western interests when it feels sufficiently provoked. Iran
Second, when Western powers engage
with respect and as an equal, they are more likely to get what they want than when they take a confrontational path designed to bully or humiliate the regime. Iran
Neither message is likely to be well received either at the White House or among the neo-conservative and other right-wing pundits who have tried hard to depict the incident as the latest sign of Islamic or Persian barbarism. Properly understood, however, the messages could form the basis of a new approach capable of yielding still greater results, according to Juan Cole, a regional expert at the
. Universityof Michigan
US soldiers who captured five Iranians in the
's northern city of Iraq three months ago were hoping to seize commanders of Irbil 's Revolutionary Guards, a senior Kurdish leader has said. Iran
Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish region government, said senior Guards leaders had been visiting Kurdish officials at the time of the January raid.
The five Iranian diplomats who were arrested in the raid on a house in
were all innocent of US charges that they were helping co-ordinate attacks against US and Iraqi forces, Barzani told Dubai-based Al-Arabiyah television in remarks broadcast on Friday. Irbil