Iranian Official Confirms Arrest Of Alleged U.S. Spy, U.S. gives conflicting story of female American citizen being safely in Istanbul


January 08, 2011

Iranian officials have confirmed this week’s media reports that an American woman has been arrested on spying charges after illegally entering the country.

Ahmad Garavand, deputy border police chief, told reporters that his forces arrested a U.S. citizen at the town of Jolfa, on the border with Azerbaijan.

He identified the woman as Hal Talayan, age 34, and accused her of filming “on a mission from the U.S. spy agency” under cover as a tourist.

TheUnited States said on January 6 it was trying to obtain detailsabout the reports that a U.S. woman was detained.

But U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said he could not confirm whether the woman is a U.S. citizen.

If the woman’s arrest is confirmed, she would be the fourth American Iran has detained and accused of spying in less than two years.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/iranian_official_ confirms_arrest_of_alleged_us_spy/2270439.html

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U.S. Story –

U.S. Disputes Arrest Of Spy Suspect By Iran

Last updated (GMT/UTC): 09.01.2011 08:28

The United States says an American woman Iran claims to have detained for spying is in fact safe and not in Iranian custody.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. officials had found the woman and that she is safe and not in Iran.

A U.S. official who declined to be identified due to privacy concerns said the woman is in Istanbul and that American consular officials are in touch with her.

Earlier, an Iranian police official said Iranian border guards had detained the woman — identified as 34-year-old Hal Talayan — on January 5 along Iran’s border with Azerbaijan on suspicion of spying, the latest in a string of conflicting reports about the case..

General Ahmad Geravand told state radio that authorities arrested the woman on January 5 while she was filming border crossings and guard posts in the town of Jolfa.

But Iranian state TV denied that an American had been detained.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/2270695.html

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