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Iran denies arrest of American woman on espionage charge

Iran Materials 6 January 2011 23:02
A US woman reported by media to be a suspected spy was refused entry at a border crossing with Armenia a week ago over a visa problem, Iran's Al-Alam television reported Thursday, citing a security source.
Iran denies arrest of American woman on espionage charge

A US woman reported by media to be a suspected spy was refused entry at a border crossing with Armenia a week ago over a visa problem, Iran's Al-Alam television reported Thursday, citing a security source.

That contradicted earlier media reports that she had been arrested, AFP reported.

"The American woman was not able to enter Iran," Al-Alam said. "She approached the border guards, but as she did not have a visa, she was not authorised to enter Iran. She was sent back to Armenia."

Earlier in the day, Fars news agency reported that Iranian officials had arrested an American woman on spying charges after she tried to enter the country from Armenia "with spying equipment in her teeth."

"About a week ago an American spy woman whose name is said to be Hal Talayan was arrested by customs officials at Nordouz" border area in East Azarbaijan province, Fars said, quoting an unnamed source.

"The 55-year-old American woman was arrested while she had entered Iran from Armenia without a visa and had placed spying equipment in her teeth," the report said, without elaborating.

"This American spy said after arrest that she would be killed by Armenian security forces if Iran handed her over," Fars said.

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

Its unsourced, unconfirmed report was carried by several Iranian newspapers on Thursday morning.

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