Iran officials dispute report of American arrested for spying
January 6th, 2011
01:22 PM ET

Iran officials dispute report of American arrested for spying

[Updated at 1:47 p.m.] Iranian authorities have denied earlier reports that an American woman was arrested on spying charges, according to Iran's state-run TV, Al-Alam.

Hal Talian is in Armenia and did not enter Iran because she did not get an
entry visa, Al-Alam reports, quoting an informed source.

The U.S. State Department is looking into the reports. Mark Toner, State Department spokesman, told reporters on Thursday there are different news stories about what happened.

He said the United States is reaching out to authorities in Armenia and to the Swiss government, which represents U.S. interests in Iran.

"There are lots of conflicting reports swirling about," Toner said. "We're reached out through our Swiss protectorate to try to ascertain the facts surrounding this incident."

Toner said U.S. officials don't know whether the person is an American.

[Posted at 7:10 a.m.] Iranian customs agents arrested a 55-year-old American woman accused of spying, local Iranian media outlets reported on Thursday.

The woman, identified as Hall Talayan in reports, allegedly entered Iran from Armenia without a visa and has been accused of placing spying equipment in her teeth. The reports said the woman told the agents that if she were returned to Armenia she would be killed by the Armenian security forces. It is not known when the arrest took place but it occurred in Nordouz, in northwestern Iran, according to the media reports.

In July 2009, three Americans were detained in Iran for spying after they allegedly strayed across an unmarked border while hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan. One of them, Sarah Shourd, was released from an Iranian prison last September on humanitarian grounds. Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer are still in prison.

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soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Ali

    CNN has the wrong flag for Iran. What idiots.

    January 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. petro-dollars

    You forgot buying up all the local gas stations/convenience stores.
    Personnel of Persian decent are allowed to run them for 7 years tax free.

    January 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • peetz!

      Is that true? I didn't know that. If that's true...well...that really ticks me...the wrong way!
      The best Mexican marinated and grilled chicken I ever had was in Arizona. El Mirage. Yes!

      January 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mr. Ontopic

    one less american.. One more open spot for immigration... A win..win.. Clowns all over the world need a clown country with easy credit terms.. So then.. Just think of the entire world as so grateful to take your exhalted place in an always more self important rolling stoned general of cristles..circus land. winners all.. right fox? Big heads..big trucks.. Big and bigger kids..big screens..big mac..big guns..big deals.. Lol

    January 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Matt the Aramean (not armenian)

    Iran is messed up... Good thing that my ancestors village is far enough from this country (200 km), or else they might think im a spy if I go visit it.

    January 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. iranian

    NamVetNavy so you are saying iranian are un-american and taking ur job? ohh well let me tell you that you are colse minded and racist. we are more american than you are and we dont take noones job, we apply.
    we work hard and education is big with us, my people are peacful and we love other people and races.
    so dont sit there and opne your mouth when you dont know about other nationalities.
    yes our government is suck but that will change soon cuz majority of iranians dont like the government.
    learn something first than comment...
    PEACE

    January 7, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Julian Assange

    The reality is that we getting more and more involved Afganistan. We are attempting to gradually take over the county for our resouces benefit, and to attempt to make afganistans the carbon-copy of Christian American white women. We are already talking about permanent bases being established. We are becoming an Empire. Look out world, we are coming to save you from yourselves. As long as you do what we tell you to, we will get along fine. less

    January 7, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. iranian (persian)

    as a persian i am so tird of this extremist nonsense islamic republic government with their lies that makes headlines. cant wait till they are gone just like their uncle sadam.
    i just need to let you people know that persian people are nothing like this dictatore islamic government of iran, we are tird of them and seeking change than you people will see who are true persians and what they could do in this world. we have a long history, we brought civilization and peace, we showed others how to live peacefuly, how to treat each others like the way you want to be treated, with respect.
    this governmet did not do any good for persians since they took over, khomeynee lied to persians about how great he would make our country and everyone will live free and happy with peace and it turned to be completely the opposite...
    please support persian people and dont get us mixed up with this evil islamic republic government of iran because we are NOT like them and we never going to be nothing like them.
    we are PERSIANS and we speack PERSIAN we DO NOT speak ARABIC and we are not from afghanistan or pakistan or india but we respect every other countries and their beliefs. we ARE NOT terrorist and DO NOT BLOW anything up lol.
    PEACE TO EVERYONE
    god bless

    January 8, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
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