Iran detains leader of US-based group

An intelligence ministry statement cited by state television did not say how, where or when the detention took place.

“Jamshid Sharmahd, the ringleader of the terrorist Tondar (Thunder) group, who directed armed and terrorist acts in Iran from America, was arrested following a complicated operation, and is now in (our agents’) powerful hands,” it said.

Television showed a video of a man identifying himself as Sharmahd and giving his date of birth.

The man was later shown with a blindfold, saying: “They needed explosives and we provided it.”

Tondar did not confirm the detention.

In reaction to what it said were reports of Sharmahd’s “abduction”, the group said on its website it did not confirm “stories being told by various networks”.

However it said in an earlier posting on social media that “Tondar… will continue to fight even in the absence of a commander”.

Tondar is thought to be the military arm of a little-known Los Angeles-based monarchist group called Kingdom Assembly of Iran.

Kingdom Assembly of Iran says it seeks to restore the Iranian monarchy that was overthrown by the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Read the article in The Canberra Times (AAP).