KAZAKHSTAN EXPELS IRANIANS ACCUSED OF ESPIONAGE.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 56

Kazakhstan on March 20 sent back to Iran the three Iranian citizens who had been arrested on February 24 in Almaty on charges of espionage. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry stated in a diplomatic note that the three Iranians were being released as a gesture of goodwill, despite conclusive evidence against them. They did not have diplomatic immunity and could therefore have been put on trial in Kazakhstan. The country’s National Security Committee had caught the three in flagrante while receiving secret information from an unnamed senior Kazakhstani official, whom the Iranians allegedly had recruited. Tehran protested against the arrest of its citizens and denied the espionage charges. (Russian agencies, March 20; see Monitor, February 25) Both sides treated the incident in a low-key manner, with the avowed intention to avoid damaging their overall relations.

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