Iran: Trials for al Qaeda suspects
Saif Al Adel is believed to be a high-ranking member of the al Qaeda organization.
Iran tells the U.N. it has detained several al Qaeda operatives, CNN's Kelli Arena reports. (May 22)
DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN) -- Iran will put the al Qaeda suspects it is holding on trial, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Friday.
Asked when the suspects would go on trial, Kharrazi said, "It is in the process" and that proceedings would begin after investigators finished gathering evidence.
"When their files are ready they will be put to trial," Kharrazi told CNN's Christiane Amanpour from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He said he did not have the exact number of suspects, but that Iran has planned all along to try the suspects for violating Iran's national security.
"They are currently in prison. Their relations are cut off from outside and they are going to be tried," Kharrazi told Reuters.
In Washington, White House spokesman Scott McClellan noted that Iran had previously said it planned to put al Qaeda members on trial, adding that the Bush administration's position had not changed.
"We want to see action, and the action that we want to see is that they turn over those al Qaeda members in their custody to their country of origin," he said.
In July, U.S. officials told CNN that four top al Qaeda leaders were in custody in Iran, including the terrorist group's military leader and spokesman. (Full story)
Saif Al Adel, al Qaeda's military chief, is one of those in custody, as is Suleiman Abu Ghaith, along with two other al Qaeda members, the officials said.
Saif Al Adel is wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of two U.S. Embassies in east Africa.
Last May, Iran acknowledged to a U.S. representative that it had several unnamed al Qaeda operatives in custody. (Full story)