Accessibility links

Egypt Releases Iranian Diplomat Accused of Spying

Egypt's state news agency says authorities have released an Iranian diplomat whom they had detained on accusations of spying for Tehran.

MENA says state security prosecutors released the Iranian, Qassem Hosseini, on Sunday after the Egyptian foreign ministry confirmed his diplomatic status. Earlier, the news agency had reported that prosecutors were questioning Hosseini on suspicion of spying for Iran with the intention of harming Egypt's interests. It said he was detained several days ago.

Iranian officials denied that Hosseini was detained and said he was at work on Sunday in Iran's Cairo mission. Iran's state-run Arabic television channel Al-Alam quoted an Iranian source as saying the government was following the case.

Egypt and Iran have low-level missions in each other's capitals. They have not had full diplomatic relations since 1979, when Iran underwent an Islamic revolution and Egypt made peace with Israel. Officials have suggested the ouster of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a February uprising may allow both nations to improve their ties.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.