Iran reports arrest of No 2 in California-based exile group

American Age Official

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s judiciary said Wednesday that the country’s intelligence units have arrested the No. 2 leader of a little-known militant Iranian opposition group based in California.

The man — identified only as “Masmatus,” which appears to be a pseudonym — is believed to be the second in command in the group known as “Tondar,” according to the judiciary’s media outlet Mizanonline. The arrest took place last month, it said, without providing more details.

The suspect was allegedly involved in the planning of an attack on a mosque in Iran in 2008 that killed 14 worshippers and wounded over 200 people.

Iran has also accused the group of being behind a 2010 bombing at Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in Tehran that wounded several people.

In 2020, Iran’s intelligence service detained Jamshid Sharmahd, an Iranian-American and the No. 1 leader of Tondar, or “Thunder” in Farsi, over the same 2008 bombing that targeted the Hosseynieh Seyed al-Shohada Mosque in the city of Shiraz.

At the time, Iran alleged that Sharmahd was planning other attacks around the Islamic Republic.

Tondar is a militant wing of the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, known in Farsi as Anjoman-e Padeshahi-e Iran. It seeks to restore Iran’s monarchy, which ended when the fatally ill Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled the country in 1979 just before the Islamic Revolution. The group’s founder disappeared in the mid-2000s.

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