Iran's foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, has confirmed an Interpol request concerning a suspect wanted over US allegations of an assassination plot, but suggested the name was too common to pinpoint the individual, Iranian reports said Thursday.
"There are 150 Gholam Shakuris (in Iran). Interpol sent us a question about this name, and our investigation showed a certain Gholam Shakuri who lives in the United States and is a member of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organisation," Salehi was quoted in Iranian media as saying in Saudi Arabia.
The United States alleges Gholam Shakuri is an Iranian official in the Quds Force, a shadowy special operations outfit in Iran's Revolutionary Guards, and that he co-conspired with an Iranian-American car salesman, Manssor Arbabsiar, to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
While Arbabsiar is in US custody, US officials say they believe Shakuri is in Iran and they have called on Tehran to turn him over to face charges.
Iran has strongly denied any involvement in the alleged plot.
It has also suggested that the Shakuri being sought is part of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organisation, a Paris-based Iranian exile group, also known as the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, that aims to overthrow Iran's Islamic regime.
The United States and Iran consider the group to be a terrorist organisation but it was removed from a list of 50 banned militant groups compiled by the European Union in January 2009.
Salehi ... >>>
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