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Iran Denies Harboring Al-Qaeda Financier


Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast described the U.S. allegations as "totally baseless."

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast described the U.S. allegations as "totally baseless."

Iran has denied it's harboring an alleged Al-Qaeda fundraiser who has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head.

"These amateurish scenarios by the U.S. government on the presence of an Al-Qaeda member in Iran are totally baseless," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a statement.

Washington says that Iran is protecting Syrian-born Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil.

The U.S. State Department said on December 22 it was offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Khalil, whom it described as a "terrorist financier."

Khalil, also known as Yacine al-Suri, was put on a U.S. Treasury Department blacklist in July, when he was described as a high-level Al-Qaeda "facilitator" who has operated from inside Iran since 2005 "under an agreement between Al-Qaeda and the Iranian government."

On December 23, a federal district court in Manhattan ruled that Iran and the Lebanese Hizballah materially and directly supported Al-Qaeda in the September 11, 2001, attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of the victims who are plaintiffs in the case.

compiled from agency reports

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