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Germany holds Iran 'spy' on bomb plot charges

AFP  |  Berlin 

German prosecutors today said a court had remanded in custody an alleged Iranian accused of plotting to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in on June 30.

The suspect, a Vienna-based accredited Iranian whom opposition groups have named as Assadollah Assadi, 46, was one of several suspects detained in Germany, and

They had allegedly planned to bomb the rally by an exiled Iranian opposition group in Villepinte near that was attended by several US politicians.

German prosecutors said today that a court had two days earlier remanded Assadi in custody on charges of foreign intelligence activities and conspiracy to murder. They added that these charges did "not preclude" Assadi's extradition requested by

Assadi was believed to be a member of of Intelligence and Security, which is tasked with the "observation and fight against opposition groups inside and outside Iran", the prosecutors' statement said.

They said Assadi had in March ordered a married couple living in "to carry out an explosives attack" on the annual rally and had handed them the explosives in a June meeting in

The couple were arrested in on the day of the rally by Belgian who said they found them in possession of 500 grams (about one pound) of the volatile explosive TATP and a detonator.

They were identified only as Amir S., 38, and Nasimeh N., 33, and as being Belgian nationals of Iranian origin.

arrested another three people but later released two of them, French legal sources said.

has dismissed the alleged bomb plot as a "sinister false flag ploy" designed to discredit at a time when it faces major diplomatic tensions with the

US over two months ago abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal in which had pledged to halt most nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.

considers to be the world's biggest state sponsor of terrorism because of its links with the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon, in the Palestinian territories and other networks in and

of the suspected bomb plot broke in the week Iranian was visiting and to rally European support for the endangered nuclear agreement.

The rally by the of Iran was attended by Trump's personal lawyer, former Rudy Giuliani, and former Newt Gingrich, who both urged "regime change" in Iran.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 17:25 IST