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Iran envoy 'abducted in Baghdad'
An Iranian diplomat has been kidnapped by gunmen in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, Tehran has confirmed.
Jalal Sharafi, the embassy's second secretary, was abducted from his car on Sunday in central Karrada district by men wearing Iraqi army uniforms.
Iran condemned the kidnapping and said it held the US responsible for his life. A US military spokesman said no US or Iraqi troops were involved.
The news comes amid US-Iranian tension over Iranian activities in Iraq.
Last month in a dramatic pre-dawn helicopter raid, the Americans detained five Iranians in northern Iraq, prompting Iran to issue a formal protest to the US.
The US has denied any involvement in the latest incident, but recently has been expressing increasing concern about alleged Iranian support for militant activity in Iraq.
Correspondents say the stand-off over Iran's nuclear programme is adding to the tension.
On Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair accused Iran of "a strategy to create maximum trouble" in the Middle East.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told the Isna news agency that Mr Sharafi had been kidnapped by a group linked to Iraq's defence ministry "which works under the supervision of American forces".