Iran on Monday condemned a series of attacks on its embassies and consulates in North America, Australia and Europe after Iranian warplanes bombed an Iranian rebel base in Iraq.
Iraqi newspapers said the air raid 40 miles from Baghdad on Sunday was inspired by Washington, and warned Iran "to avoid playing with fire.""This aggression represents an open violation to U.N. Security Council Resolution 598" that ended the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, said Al-Thawra, the official newspaper of the ruling Baath party in Baghdad.
Iran called on Iraq to stop backing the Iranian rebels, which initially supported Iran's 1979 revolution, then broke with the fundamentalist government in Tehran.
The raid may have been an attempt by Iran's President Hashemi Rafsanjani to shore up support five days before parliamentary elections in which he is trying to crush opponents of his efforts to improve relations with the West.
Iran said it attacked the base in retaliation for a raid Saturday by the rebel group on two villages in western Iran. The rebels denied attacking the villages.
Iraq claimed its forces shot down one of eight F-4 Iranian fighter-bombers Sunday and captured the two-man crew. Baghdad radio called the raid an act of "blatant and unjustified aggression."
In a statement faxed to Athens Monday, the Iranian rebel group said the captured pilot, identified as Col. Qassem Amini, was a top officer in the Iranian Air Force. The second man captured, Capt. Arsalan Sharifi, was the plane's navigator.
Hundreds of Iranian dissidents protested, sometimes violently, Monday and Sunday at Tehran's embassies and consulates in Australia, Germany, France, Britain, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, The Netherlands, and the United States.
The latest attack was in Canberra, Australia, where about 20 protesters rampaged at the Iranian Embassy Monday. Three staffers suffered minor injuries when they were assaulted by the group, and three of the protesters were taken into custody, federal police said.
In New York, five Iranians occupied Tehran's mission to the United Nations and held one employee for several hours before surrendering to police.
The Mujahedeen say they receive no assistance from the Iraqi government, other than being allowed to operate in the country.