Egypt quizzes Iranian diplomat on espionage charges

Kassem al-Hosseini, an Iranian, has been detained for passing information.

Last Updated: May 29, 2011, 19:46 PM IST

Cairo: An Iranian diplomat suspected of
involvement in espionage activities in Egypt has been arrested
here, amid efforts by the two nations to establish diplomatic
ties following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak after a
popular uprising against his three-decade rule.

The Higher State Security Prosecution today questioned
Qassem al-Husseini, who is working at the Iranian Interest
Office in Cairo, who was arrested a few days ago.

Initial investigations revealed that Husseini was
collecting intelligence information on the latest events in
Egypt for Iranian intelligence agencies.

Media reports quoted Iranian officials of denying
the charges.

Iran severed full diplomatic relations with Egypt
in 1979 when Egypt made peace with Israel and provided asylum
to the Shah who was ousted in the Islamic Revolution.

The two nations do not have embassies in each others’
countries, but maintain a lower-level mission.

After the ouster of Mubarak, Egyptian Foreign Minister
Nabil Elaraby said in April that his country was open to
re-establishing diplomatic relations.

PTI
Ahmadinejad mulled resignation over row: Reports
Tehran: Iran`s President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad considered resigning after supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vetoed a minister`s sacking, but
ultimately decided not to, parliament`s deputy speaker said
on Sunday.

"At one stage the president went as far as
(considering) to resign, but he calculated that he should
continue his work," Mohammad Reza Bahonar, the first deputy
speaker of conservative-dominated parliament, was quoted as
saying.

Ahmadinejad withdrew from public life for 10 days in
late April in protest after Khamenei blocked his decision to
dismiss Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi.

The showdown triggered a political crisis within the
conservative camp in the Iranian political hierarchy, with the
ultra-religious conservatives denouncing Ahmadinejad`s
decision as a threat to the regime and urging him to toe the
line.

"The supreme leader wants the government to continue
its work to the end of its term with serenity and on a natural
course," Bahonar added referring to the end of Ahamdinejad`s
tenure in August 2013.

Ahmadinejad cannot run for the next presidential
election set for June 2013 as the Islamic republic
constitution prohibits more than two successive terms for
presidents.

PTI