Iraq suspends consulate activities in Iran as two Iraqi diplomats arrested

Iraq’s President Barham Salih shakes hands with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in New York on September 25, 2019. Reuters

Baghdad ( – Iraq decided Tuesday to suspend activities at its consulate in the Iranian city of Mashhad after two Iraqi diplomats were beaten and arrested there earlier this week.

“It was decided to suspend operations at the Iraqi consulate in Mashhad after two Iraqi employees were beaten,” Spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry Ahmad al-Sahaf told Sky News TV channel.

“Baghdad is awaiting an Iranian explanation on the incident,” Sahaf added.

The two diplomats were arrested on Saturday in Mashhad after being placed under observation by the Iranian security forces, according to a written statement issued by the Iraqi Consulate General in Mashhad.

It was not immediately clear why the pair had been arrested or why their diplomatic immunity had not been recognized.

The diplomats were later released without bail.

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