US Orders Two Iraqi Diplomats to Leave the Country: Iraq's UN Envoy

The United States has ordered two Iraqi diplomats to leave the country, the Iraqi permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Mohammed Al-Douri, said at the UN headquarters in New York Wednesday.

Al-Douri said the men were informed of the expulsion order at 6p.m. EST (2300 GMT) on Tuesday and given 72 hours to leave the United States.

The two men are the security guards of the Iraqi mission although they had the title of "attache," the Iraqi ambassador said. "They are living in the basement of the mission."

The men were identified as Nazih Abdullatif Rahman and Yehia Naeem Suaoud.

A statement from the US State Department in Washington said, "The two attaches were engaged in activities outside the scope of their official functions. Federal law enforcement authorities deemed the activities to be harmful to our national security."

It said that the United Nations was advised of the US request on March 4.

In mid-February, the United States expelled the UN correspondent of the official Iraqi News Agency, Mohammad Hassan Allawi. Last June US officials expelled a first secretary at Iraq's UN mission.

People's Daily Online ---