Iranian Says He Was Tortured in
By NASSER KARIMI
Wednesday, and said they were inflicted by drills during two months of
official when he refused to cooperate.
secretary at the Iranian Embassy in
The comments by Sharafi came as
personnel detained in
a January raid.
Sharafi, speaking to reporters in his first appearance since his release
April 3, said he was taken by men who at first pretended to be militants but
later told him they were with Iraqi intelligence.
Sitting in a wheelchair and speaking in a weak voice, Sharafi showed
reporters nine partially healed holes in his ankle and foot he said were
caused by a drill. Shiite militiamen - some connected to Iraqi security
forces - have been known to torture captives with drills.
"They tied my feet and hands and lashed my soles hundreds of times with
cables and kicked and punched me," said Sharafi, who also showed traces of
slash marks on his back. "They performed mock executions while my eyes were
blindfolded and my hands and feet were bound." He said the drill torture
occurred early in his captivity, and beatings took place throughout.
Dr. Ali Sharifi, a psychiatrist, said Sharafi showed symptoms of sensory and
Peter G. Stocker, an official from the International Committee of the Red
Cross who examined Sharafi on Wednesday, told The Associated Press his
wounds "happened during his detention." Stocker could not say who caused
Sharafi said he was questioned several times by an American who told him "he
was in charge of my case and was in direct contact with the American
"The English-speaking man threatened to kill me by bites of wild dogs," said
the 40-year-old diplomat, referring to the American. "The American began
with a soft attitude at first. But he turned harsh when he could not get any
cooperation from me."
Sharafi said his captors questioned him about the other five detained
Iranians and asked him what groups
countries of the region," he said.
On Saturday, Iranian state TV quoted Sharafi as saying the CIA was involved
in his interrogation. He did not specify CIA involvement in his comments
U.S. Embassy officials in
comment Wednesday. Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said Saturday
we welcome his return to
the sensitivity of the issue, said the CIA denies any role in the capture or
release of Sharafi. The official dismissed any claims of torture, saying
"the CIA does not conduct or condone torture."
seizure of 15 British sailors in the
Tensions have risen between the
military would aggressively pursue Iranian agents who stir up trouble in
were providing money and weapons to militants.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi suggested
conference in Eygpt, which the
with delegates from
build regional coordination to help stem violence in
"We have reminded Iraqi officials that until the time of the Iranian
saying by the hardline Kayhan newspaper.
On Wednesday, however, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the
conference is a priority for
would prefer that the meeting be held in