US general: British hostage held in Iran
Guardian / Julian Borger

US intelligence is convinced that Peter Moore spent at least some of his 31 months of captivity in Iran, one of America's most senior military commanders said yesterday.

As Moore, a computer consultant from Lincoln, flew back to Britain yesterday, General David Petraeus, the head of US central command, confirmed the American assessment that Moore – seized with four bodyguards in Baghdad in 2007 – had "certainly" been taken across the border into Iran. The Iranian role in the abduction, reported by the Guardian on Thursday, suggests Tehran's influence in Iraqi politics is even more pervasive than previously thought.

Moore flew into RAF Brize Norton yesterday evening on board a plane belonging to International SOS, a global medical and security firm. He was accompanied by a Baghdad-based British consular official and was due to be reunited with his family last night.

His step-parents, Fran and Pauline Sweeney, issued a statement saying: "We are thrilled to have Peter back safely. We have a lot of catching up to do and would like to have time with Peter on our own. We would now ask the media to give us space and privacy."

The Foreign Office has repeatedly said that there is no evidence Moore was ever held inside Iran, dismissing the report as "speculation". But General Petraeus flatly contradicted the official British view at a Baghdad press conference yesterday.

"I am on the record as having said that our intelligence assessment is tha... >>>

recommended by Majid Zahrai