White House helped free Iranian diplomat.

President Bush yesterday: “There should be no quid pro quo when it comes to the hostages.” From tomorrow’s New York Sun:

The Iranian diplomat released Tuesday preceding the announcement that Iran would free the 15 British sailors it had taken hostage was being held in a joint Iraqi and American facility, and was released in part because of a decision at the highest levels of the American government.

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The decision to release Jalal Sharafi on Tuesday was made at the White House, according to an administration official who asked to be anonymous because of the sensitivity of the information. […]

Pentagon and White House spokesmen on Tuesday and Wednesday insisted publicly that the release of Mr. Sharafi was solely an Iraqi decision.