DUBAI, June 25 (Mehr News Agency) – A top Saudi Arabian official Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz announced on Tuesday that more than 40 Saudi nationals had been arrested in Iran.

A number of the al Qaeda members fled to Iran on the heels of the U.S. war on Afghanistan. Iran arrested and identified some of them and has said that they would be extradited to the countries of their origin.


Last year, Iran handed to Saudi Arabia 16 al Qaeda fighters who had fled to Iran from Afghanistan.


Prince Nayef who was quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency said that some of the detainees might have been summoned for questioning.


The government spokesman of Iran Abduallah Ramazandzadeh said on Monday that Iran has identified some of the al-Qaeda members and added that they would be extradited to the countries of their origin.


The United States lauded Iran on Monday for its anti-terrorist measures, particularly its efforts to identify members of terrorist network al-Qaeda.



Tehran’s move to identify these elements is positive, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said in Washington: “such a move by the Iranians could be a positive step".


After the collapse of the stone-age al-Qaeda, some members of the group fled to Iran. Iran has identified and arrested them, extraditing some of them to their original countries.


Regardless of Iran’s efforts, Washington had been accusing Iran of “accommodating” the al-Qaeda members which Iran vociferously rejects the accusations.


The spokesman said Washington believed "senior al-Qaeda leaders are in Iran and we've called on Iran to turn those people over."


Iran maintains that it has arrested all the identified al-Qaeda members who fled to Iran on heels of the Afghan war. Thousands of kilometers of Iran-Afghanistan borders are not easy to control, this is why some of the al-Qaeda members fled to Iran.


The head of the al-Qaeda Osama Bin Laden is still at large; he is said to be hiding in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas.






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