Iran has arrested a Sunni Muslim rebel leader and launched a stinging attack on the West, saying it helped support him.
Pakistan is also accused of backing Abdolmalek Rigi who is alleged to have masterminded a series of deadly attacks.
The circumstances of his arrest remain unclear. Some reports say he was on a plane flying between Dubai and Kyrgyzstan that may have been intercepted and forced to land in Iran.
Iran’s Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said Rigi was at an American military base 24 hours before his arrest. He also claims Rigi had travelled to some European countries. “The Americans issued Rigi with an Afghan passport and an identification card for travelling to Pakistan,” he told reporters.
Operating in southeast Iran, Rigi’s group Jundollah
says it is fighting for the rights of Sunnis in mainly Shi’ite Iran. Tehran claims it has links to al Qaeda.
Jundollah said it was behind a suicide bombing last October near the Pakistani border that killed more than 40 Iranians, including elite Revolutionary Guards. Earlier, in May, the group said it carried out the bombing of a Shi’ite mosque that killed 25 people.