Iran General NewsIran dismisses U.S. concern over held Iranian-Americans

Iran dismisses U.S. concern over held Iranian-Americans


Reuters: Iran said on Tuesday it did not need U.S. advice about how to deal with Iranian-Americans Tehran has detained and said Washington should focus on its own cases of human rights abuses. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran said on Tuesday it did not need U.S. advice about how to deal with Iranian-Americans Tehran has detained and said Washington should focus on its own cases of human rights abuses.

Iran has charged three dual nationals with spying. Washington has said a fourth has also been detained and has demanded that they all be released unconditionally.

“Instead of giving useless advice, it is better for Americans to evaluate their own approach in secret prisons, bad behavior and inhumane confrontation with prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini was quoted as saying by Iran’s ISNA news agency.

Iran often cites the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and abuses by U.S. forces in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison when it rebuts accusations on rights issues from the West.

“The Americans are making a fuss over the arrest of these people when they have kidnapped and tortured tens of innocent people from different nations without the smallest reason and proof,” Hosseini said.

U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday strongly condemned Iran’s detention of American citizens and called for them to be freed “immediately and unconditionally.”

Iran accuses Washington of using intellectuals and others inside the country to undermine the Islamic Republic through what it calls a “soft revolution.” A charge of spying could carry the death sentence under Iranian law.

Washington has also demanded to know the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, a former FBI official who went missing in early March while on a visit to the Iranian island of Kish.

Some analysts link the arrests by Iran to the detention of five Iranians by U.S. forces in Iraq in January. Iran says the five are diplomats but U.S. officials say they were involved in supporting militants inside Iraq.

Iran has dismissed any linkage between the detentions in Iraq and any other issues.

When asked about the detention of U.S. citizens, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a news conference on Tuesday that any arrests were a judicial matter, independent of the executive.

The United States, which cut diplomatic ties with Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution and the taking of hostages at the U.S. embassy, is embroiled in rows with Tehran over its nuclear program and its suspected support for the insurgency in Iraq.

Iran dismisses U.S. accusations that it is seeking an atomic bomb or that it is meddling in Iraq.

Despite the disagreements, the United States and Iran held their most high-profile talks in three decades in Baghdad last month. The talks focused on Iraq’s sectarian violence and did not touch on issues like Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

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