U.S. expelling Iraqi journalist for being "harmful to U.S. interests"
By DAFNA LINZER, Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS - 15 Feb: The U.S. government expelled an Iraqi journalist who covers the United Nations (news - web sites) for the official Iraqi News Agency because he was considered "harmful to the security of the United States," the journalist and U.S. officials said Friday.
• Major Powers Want More Arms Hunts in Iraq
AP - 8 minutes ago
• Powell Presses Allies to Threaten Iraq
AP - 1 hour, 43 minutes ago
• Iraq Bans Weapons of Mass Destruction
AP - 2 hours, 2 minutes ago
Mohammed Allawi, who has reported from the United Nations for the past two years, said he received the expulsion letter signed by U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte at his Manhattan home on Thursday. The letter said that he and his family, including his five children, had 15 days to leave the United States.
"The letter say I have to leave because I am harmful to U.S. interests," Allawi said.
A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Allawi "has engaged in activities considered to be harmful to the security of the United States and those activities constitute an abuse of privilege of residence in this country."
Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed al-Douri said he was stunned by the decision.
"He's a very polite and decent man. He's always in his office or with his colleagues, so I don't see how he could be a threat," al-Douri said.
Al-Douri said he wasn't sure what recourse would be available but that he was studying the matter. The ambassador also complained about U.S. harassment of Iraqi diplomats. He and others at the Iraqi mission have often complained that the United States tries to coerce diplomats into defecting.