Iran state media says a "Lebanese-American citizen" was arrested on suspicion of espionage
The arrested man is not a U.S. citizen, the U.S. State Department says
Iran arrested a “Lebanese-American citizen” on suspicion of espionage, according to the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting media outlet.
Nazar Zaka had “deep ties with the U.S. military and intelligence services,” said IRIB, quoting informed sources. IRIB cited a report it said included a photo of Zaka in a military uniform at a U.S. base in Riverside County, California.
The U.S. State Department said Zaka is not a U.S. citizen.
“We are aware of reports that a U.S. lawful permanent resident has been arrested in Iran,” State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said. “U.S. lawful permanent residents are not U.S. passport holders and would travel on the passport of their nationality. Consular assistance would be provided by the country of the individual’s nationality.”
The arrest of Zaka came several days after Siamak Namazi, a Dubai-based businessman with dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, was detained while visiting relatives in Tehran, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal. Four other Americans are being held in Iran.
IRIB also reported Tuesday that Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps arrested an “infiltration network” affiliated with the U.S. and British governments and people operating in cyberspace and Iran’s media who collaborated with Western governments.
CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, Elise Labott and Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.