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Middle East

Iran official says US woman detained

A senior Iranian police official says an American woman has been detained on suspicion of spying — contradicting an earlier denial of her arrest on state TV.

Ahmad Geravand told state radio today that the woman was arrested on Wednesday while filming a town on the Iran-Azerbaijan border.

And the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Geravand as identifying the woman as Hal Talaian.

A state-owned Iranian newspaper reported Thursday that authorities had detained an American woman by that name on espionage suspicions. But state TV denied the report hours later.

A US official said yesterday there was no indication that an American woman had been arrested in Iran.

Discrepancies in the official reports could not immediately be explained.