Iran General NewsArmenia denies Iran spy story

Armenia denies Iran spy story

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AFP: Armenia on Friday denied that a US woman reportedly detained in Iran for alleged spying after entering the country from Armenia had ever been to the former Soviet republic.

YEREVAN, January 7, 2011 (AFP) – Armenia on Friday denied that a US woman reportedly detained in Iran for alleged spying after entering the country from Armenia had ever been to the former Soviet republic.

The woman, identified as Hal Talayan, was initially reported by Iranian media to have been detained after entering Iran with espionage equipment hidden in her teeth.

But later reports contradicted this, saying that she had not been allowed to cross the border between Armenia and Iran because she did not have a valid visa.

Armenia’s National Security Service, however, said this was also impossible.

“A person with such a name did not enter and thus never left Armenia,” said Artsvin Bagramian, head of the National Security Service press centre.

There has so far been no confirmation of any version of the story, which was first reported on Wednesday by a little known Iranian conservative news website, Nasimonline.ir, without naming any sources.

The United States said Thursday that it was trying to obtain details about the alleged espionage arrest.

“There’s lots of conflicting reports swirling about on this issue,” Mark Toner, a US State Department spokesman, told reporters.

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