Chief of U.S.-based ‘terror group’ arrested, says Iran

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Iran said on Saturday that it has arrested the head of a U.S.-based “terrorist group” accused of being behind a deadly 2008 bombing in the southern city of Shiraz and of other, abortive attacks.

The group’s “Jamshid Sharmahd, who was leading armed and sabotage operations inside Iran, is now in the powerful hands” of Iran’s security forces, state television said in a report citing a statement from the Intelligence Ministry.

A royalist group

The statement did not elaborate on where or when the leader of the opposition royalist group known as the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, or Tondar (Farsi for Thunder), was arrested. According to the statement, he had orchestrated the April 12, 2008 bombing in a packed mosque in Shiraz that killed 14 people and wounded 215.

Iran hanged three men convicted of the bombing in 2009, saying they had ties to the monarchist group. It said they had been taking orders from an Iranian U.S.-backed “CIA agent” to try to assassinate a high-ranking official in Iran.

The statement issued on Saturday said that Tondar had plotted several other “big operations” which failed.

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