Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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EGYPT: Officials interrogate Iranian diplomat suspected of spying

May 29, 2011 |  7:13 am

Officials at Egypt's state security agency have been interrogating an Iranian diplomat suspected of spying in Cairo, according to the official Egyptian news agency.

The diplomat, identified as Qassem al-Husseini, was arrested a few days ago and state security agency prosecutors began interrogating him Sunday on suspicion of relaying “intelligence information” on recent events in Egypt to Iran, according to MENA, the Egyptian state news agency.

State security attorney Taher al-Khouli accused Al-Husseini of “spying for a foreign country to harm the interests of Egypt” based on an initial investigation, according to MENA reports.

Egypt and Iran have not had full diplomatic relations since 1979, when Tehran cut off ties because Egyptian officials agreed to peace with Israel and provided asylum to the shah deposed in the Islamic Revolution.

Each country maintains a lower-level diplomatic mission in the other.


Timeline: Revolution in Egypt

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Cairo