Iran on Saturday said it detained an Iranian-American leader of a little-known California-based militant opposition group for allegedly planning a 2008 attack on a mosque that killed 14 people and wounded over 200 others, the AP reports. Iran's Intelligence Ministry also alleged Jamshid Sharmahd of the Kingdom Assembly of Iran planned other attacks around the Islamic Republic amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the US over its collapsing 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. It was unclear how Sharmahd, whom Iran accused of running the opposition group's Tondar militant wing, ended up detained by intelligence officials. The Intelligence Ministry called it a "complex operation," without elaborating. It published a purported picture of Sharmahd, blindfolded, on its website.
Requests for comment sent by email to the Glendora-based Kingdom Assembly of Iran were not immediately answered and a telephone number for the group no longer worked. The US State Department, which mentioned how Sharmahd earlier had been targeted for assassination in a recent report called "Outlaw Regime: A Chronicle of Iran's Destructive Activities," did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Iranian state television broadcast a report on Sharmahd's arrest, linking him to the 2008 bombing of the Hosseynieh Seyed al-Shohada Mosque in Shiraz. It also said his group was behind a 2010 bombing at Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's mausoleum in Tehran that wounded several people.
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