US soldiers detained 8 envoys from Iran's energy ministry in Baghdad yesterday and held them overnight before admitting it was a mistake, the BBC reports. The men, who were energy experts on an official visit, were released after Iraqi leaders intervened. The US military said they were stopped at a checkpoint when their Iraqi escorts were found to be carrying unauthorized weapons.
They Iranians were then taken to their hotel, where their rooms were searched. AP television showed US soldiers escorting the blindfolded men, their hands bound, from the hotel into military vehicles. The incident follows President Bush's statement yesterday that the US will "confront Tehran's murderous activities" in Iraq; an aide to Gen. Patraeus told the BBC the arrests had "nothing to do" with Bush's comment.