Report: Iran ‘Detains’ American Woman for Spying

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Sarah Shourd was released in 2010 by Iran after being accused of spying

Sultan al-Hasani/File/AP

A state-owned newspaper is reporting that Iranian authorities have detained a 55-year-old American woman on spying charges.

The daily IRAN said the woman had spying equipment hidden on her body.  Customs authorities detained her in the border town of Nordouz, northwest of Tehran with the report claiming she arrived in the country from neighboring Armenia without a visa.

(See pictures of smuggling between Iran and Iraq.)

If confirmed, this would be the fourth American Iran has arrested and accused of spying in under two years. The most well-known of these cases might be the three Americans detained in July 2009, who were first accused of illegally crossing the border from northern Iraq and then accused of spying. The U.S. dismissed the spying charges, maintaining they were innocent hikers (the families said if they did cross the border, it was inadvertent.) Sarah Shourd was released on compassionate grounds last year but her fiance, Shane Bauer, and friend Josh Fattal remain in prison and could go on trial next month. Whether this latest case develops in the same way remains to be seen. (via AP)