ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday announced the suspension of its Consulate General in Iran’s city of Mashhad, an official said.
The decision came in response to the arrest and torture of two Iraqi employees from the consulate at the hands of Iranian authorities.
Ahmad Al-Sahaf, the official spokesperson of Iraq’s Foreign Ministry, said Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim had decided to suspend the work of the Consulate General of Iraq in Mashhad.
Iraq will reopen the office when it receives an official apology from Iranian authorities, Sahaf added, noting the two employees had been “insulted, beaten, and imprisoned by the city’s authorities.”
According to an announcement from the Consulate General, authorities in Iran allegedly requested bail for the release of the two diplomats.
The Iraqi parliamentary committee for foreign relations condemned the abuse and arrest of the two diplomats in Iran.
Sherko Mohammed, head of the parliamentary foreign relations committee, told local media that the two employees were diplomats “who are officially working inside Iran.”
“They cannot be assaulted and imprisoned, and we condemn the action,” Mohammed stated.
“Hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens visit Iraq, and we make preparations months ahead to receive them, and this is how they treat our citizens.”
Iranian authorities recently assaulted an elderly Iraqi woman at an airport in Mashhad.
Mashhad, located in Razavi Khorasan province, is the second-most populous city in Iran and is a significant pilgrimage destination for Shia Muslims due to religious shrines located there.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany