Iranian diplomat Ghassem Hosseini was released after a mistaken arrest by the Egyptian government, says Iran’s Intelligence Minister.
Mehr news agency reports that the diplomat’s arrest in Egypt was a case of mistaken identity, and he was released within two hours with an apology to Iran.
An Iranian state media outlet was the first to publish news of the arrest, and it was confirmed yesterday by a judiciary official. Egyptian state media MENA denied that Iranian diplomat Ghassem Hosseini was being interrogated in Cairo.
Rejanews, a media source with close ties to Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, today wrote: “The intelligence team of Omar Soleiman, the former head of Egypt’s intelligence and security organization, was responsible for the brief arrest of the Iranian diplomat. Immediately after his arrest, they leaked it to the media through Al-Ahram newspaper.”
Iran and Egypt had no diplomatic ties during the rule of Hosni Mubarak. Tehran cut off all relations with Cairo in 1980 to protest Egypt’s signing of a peace agreement with Israel, as well as Egypt’s acceptance of Moahmmadreza Pahlavi, the last Iranian monarch, who was ousted in the 1979 Revolution.
In 2003, Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami met for the first time with Mubarak at a UN technology summit in Geneva. In 2007, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad indicated that Iran was ready to open an embassy in Cairo.
After Mubarak’s ouster this February, both Iran and Egypt have shown a willingness to resume diplomatic relations.