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How Not To Junketeer

Vehicles carrying the 15 Iranians and Iraqis were stopped and searched by coalition forces at a checkpoint beside the Tigris River near their hotel Tuesday night. The American military said the delegation was allowed to proceed to the Iraqi state-owned Sheraton Ishtar hotel nearby. But uniformed American troops later arrived at the hotel, and were filmed by television crews leading the group away, blindfolded and handcuffed. Hotel officials said the Iranian delegation, which was the first Iranian party to visit the hotel since the 2003 invasion, had checked into the hotel on Monday. Mohaned Abed, the hotel's night manager, identified the members of the Iranian delegation from hotel records as Jamal Bayati, Abathar Mirzani, Mohsen Ashouri, Saed Raai, Hassan Tharif and Bahmatullah Muradi, who was accompanied by his wife. He said Iraqis accompanying the party were also held.
Jason Zengerle