Egypt will expel an Iranian diplomat who was briefly detained on suspicion of spying on the North African country for intelligence services, security officials said on Sunday.
The officials said the diplomat, who had been released earlier in the day, would be “expelled within 48 hours.”
The decision was made public shortly after the man, identified as Qasim Al-Hosseini, an employee at Iran’s mission in Cairo, was freed after his arrest on suspicion of spying for Teheran’s intelligence services.
Mena had earlier reported that the state security prosecution let Hosseini go after it was “notified by the (Egyptian) foreign ministry that he was a diplomat in the Iranian mission.”
It quoted a security official saying that Hosseini “breached diplomatic protocol” by organising a spy ring to glean Egypt’s military and economic secrets.
An initial probe found he gathered “information about Egypt on the latest developments the country has experienced and the conditions through which it is passing, then sent them to Iran’s intelligence services.”
The Iranian interests section in Cairo had denied that Hosseini was arrested.
“He is in the embassy as I speak. It did not happen that way, he was not arrested,” an official said.