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Germany confirms arrest of Iranian espionage suspect

July 27, 1999, Berlin (dpa) - Police in Berlin have arrested an Iranian national suspected of espionage, the federal prosecutor's office confirmed Tuesday.

The man aged 36 is believed to have tried to spy on Iranian opposition figures in Germany, said spokeswoman Eva Schuebel confirming reports by the news magazine Der Spiegel and by the Iranian opposition. The suspect was detained on July 14.

Schuebel rejected allegations from the opposition Iranian National Council of Resistance that the suspect had planned to carry out acts of terrorism.

A statement by the opposition group identified the detained Iranian as Hamid Khorsand, saying he was ``an intelligence ministry agent spying for the mullahs' regime'' who tried to ``infiltrate the ranks of supporters of the Mujahedin''.

The statement said Khorsand was involved, along with Kazem Darabi, in a 1982 fight between Iranian regime supporters and opponents in Mainz, Germany.

Darabi was one of the defendants found guilty in the 1992 murder of Iranian dissidents in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin and is serving his sentence in prison.

Schuebel said the arrest of Khorsand was not related to the Mykonos attack, in which four Kurdish- Iranian opposition figures were gunned down on September 17, 1992. The court implicated the former leadership in Teheran in the attack.


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