“Please, oh, please, don’t build nuclear weapons and sponsor terrorist attacks against us. You can have the guys who were killing US troops with IEDs back. See? we are kneeling and grovelling.”
The American military unexpectedly released five Iranians on Thursday after holding them for two and a half years on charges they had orchestrated deadly attacks in Iraq. Iraqi officials promptly promised to turn them over to the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad.
The Iranians, whom the Americans accused of being senior operatives of Iranâ€™s Quds force, an elite unit of Iranâ€™s Revolutionary Guard, have been a point of contention between the United States, Iran and Iraq ever since they were seized in a predawn raid in the northern Kurdish city of Erbil in January 2007. An adviser to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, Yassein Majid, confirmed the menâ€™s release but provided no additional details. American military and diplomatic officials did not immediately comment.
The reasoning behind the timing of the release was unclear.