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. Iran ex-nuclear negotiator 'gave secrets to embassy'
TEHRAN, May 22 (AFP) May 22, 2007
A former Iranian nuclear negotiator detained last month on security-related charges is accused of leaking sensitive information to an embassy in Tehran, officials said on Tuesday.

Hossein Moussavian, a close ally of ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was released on bail on May 9 after more than a week in jail, but the investigation into his case is continuing.

Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie on Tuesday briefed parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee on the case, which he emphasised was not closed.

"Hossein Moussavian's case is a security one," committee spokesman Kazem Jalali quoted Ejeie as telling its members, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

"In this case, there is the issue of the leaking of information to the outside, especially to a foreign embassy in Tehran," he added, without identifying the embassy in question.

"Therefore his case is still open and the investigation is continuing and it is up to the judge to make a verdict after the completion of the investigation," he added.

Moussavian was the spokesman of a moderate negotiating team that served under reformist president Mohammad Khatami to 2005 and hammered out a deal with Europe that saw Iran suspend sensitive uranium enrichment operations.

He also served as ambassador to Germany under Rafsanjani.

Since leaving office, Moussavian has issued veiled criticism of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's confrontational stance on the nuclear issue and called on Tehran to behave with pragmatism and flexibility in the standoff.

Moussavian is now deputy head of an international affairs research institute belonging to the Expediency Council, Iran's top political arbitration body which is headed by Rafsanjani.

The head of the Strategic Studies Centre is Hassan Rowhani, a moderate cleric who until 2005 was Iran's top nuclear negotiator and national security chief under Khatami.

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