CAIRO, May 29 (Reuters) – Egypt freed an Iranian diplomat on Sunday
who had been detained over spying allegations after his diplomatic
status was confirmed but said his activities had breached protocol, the
official news agency MENA reported.
Iranian television had
denied the man, named as Qassem Hosseini, had been detained but cited
its source as saying Tehran was dealing with the case through official
Ties between Egypt and Iran were severed after
Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution and after Egypt made peace with Israel
the same year. But they have been improving since a popular uprising
toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11.
Although Egypt and Iran do not have full diplomatic relations, each has a diplomatic mission in the other’s capital.
said Hosseini’s status was confirmed by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry but
also cited an official as saying he had been acting in a way that
“violated diplomatic cooperation protocol”.
said Hosseini “was accused of spying for a foreign country, Iran, with
the intention of harming the interests of Egypt”.
initial investigations by state security prosecutor Taher el-Kholy
showed Hosseini was “gathering information regarding recent events in
Egypt … then sending it to Iranian intelligence”.