Iranian diplomat accuses CIA of torture

Jalal Sharafi, Second Secretary of the Iranian Embassy in Iraq, abducted in Baghdad, has held a press conference where he said that the CIA had tortured him during his detention in Iraq.

Mr Sharafi was abducted in February in Baghdad by men wearing Iraqi army uniforms.

Iranian officials previously blamed the U.S. for the abduction, saying the diplomat was taken by an Iraqi army unit that worked closely with the U.S.

At the press conference, Mr Sharafi claimed his captors were eight Iraqi intelligence officers headed by a man who said he was an employee of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

The diplomat said they tortured him, trying to force a confession that Iran had been helping the Iraqi insurgents.

The U.S. officials deny any involvement in the kidnapping.