Baku, Azerbaijan, March 8
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iraq has released some 15 Iranian truck drivers who were arrested a few months ago on the border with Iraq's Kurdistan Region, Iranian MP, Fathollah Hosseini said, the country's Fars news agency reported on March 8.
Hosseini, who is a member of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said that the Iranian officials should take immediate measures on releasing other detained Iranian truck drivers.
"The detained drivers have not committed any crime and should be released as soon as possible," he said.
Hosseini went on to say that the Iranian deputy foreign minister will be summoned to the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on March 11 to respond the MPs on the issue.
Earlier on March 5, Iranian media outlets reported that Iraqi Kurdistan Region's security officials have detained 35 Iranian truck drivers approximately two months ago, while nearly 30 of those Iranians are still held in custody in Iraq.
Speaking to the country's Tasnim news agency Hosseini said that the Iranian drivers have been held in detention for two months by the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's security forces on charge of trying to cross the Iraq-Iran border illegally.
He noted that five or six of the drivers have been freed so far, but the rest are still being kept in custody in connection with the alleged case.
"The detained Iranians were fuel tanker drivers, and legally carried the fuel from Iraq to Iran, and even their documents and certificates have been valid, and they had also valid passports," Hosseini stressed.
The lawmaker said the Iranian drivers had been staying inside the Iraqi Kurdistan Region for nearly a month before their capture, adding that the poor health and welfare services in that region forced them to move towards Iran's border and they wanted to cross the border individually.
But Hosseini added since such a move was deemed illegal by Iraq, the drivers were arrested during their return.