Iran says it has irrefutable evidence confirming that terrorist ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi had been aided and abetted by the US government before his arrest.
The leader of the Jundallah terrorist group was on a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Kyrgyzstan when he was tracked down by Iranian security forces on Tuesday.
An informed source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Press TV that Rigi and one of his deputies were captured after Iranian security forces forced their plane to land at an airport in the Persian Gulf city of Bandar Abbas.
Iranian security forces said he was at a US base in Afghanistan 24 hours before his capture and had a forged Afghan passport issued by the US in his possession when he was detained.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters on Tuesday that there is strong evidence suggesting that Rigi was supported by the United States.
“Not only are we aware of the many crimes against humanity committed by [Rigi], but we also have more than enough evidence that this terrorist group was in fact acting on US orders,” Mehmanparast said.
“This is a disgrace for a country which tries to portray itself as an avid supporter of human rights,” he added.
The details of Rigi’s arrest and his link to the US government will be made public by the Intelligence Ministry in the near future, Mehmanparast said.
On Tuesday, Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said security officials had been tracking Rigi down for over five months.
In addition to Rigi’s stay at a US base, he had also met with the NATO military chief in Afghanistan in April 2008 and also had links with some EU member states, Moslehi stated.
He noted that Iran received no assistance from regional intelligence services in the capture of Rigi.
Jundallah, which is based in Pakistan, has carried out a slew of bombings, assassination attempts, and terrorist attacks in Iran, one of which killed at least 40 people in the southeastern city of Pishin.
Members of the Iranian parliament have expressed their satisfaction over the arrest of the Jundallah leader.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, over 200 Iranian lawmakers congratulated Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on the successful arrest of Rigi.
“We are overjoyed by the arrest of the Jundallah leader, who was acting as a lackey and a spy on behalf of the intelligence agencies of Britain and the US,” read part of the statement.
“This certainly is good news. We are proud of our military, police, and security forces for their hard efforts to find this man and bring him to justice,” the statement added.
According to the parliamentarians, the arrest of Iran’s most wanted man shows the strength and power of the Islamic Republic in security issues, which is something the entire Muslim world should be proud of.
The MPs also said Rigi’s arrest would have never been possible without the support and positive encouragement of the Leader.