Iran has denied reports claiming that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur had traveled to Iran before being killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan.
Pakistani security officials had said that Mansur had returned from a trip to Iran when his vehicle came under attack in the southwestern province of Balochistan on May 21.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on May 22 that a passport found at the site of the attack carried “a valid Iranian visa.”
The statement said the purported passport holder, identified as Wali Muhammad, an apparent pseudonym used by Mansur, was believed to have returned to Pakistan from Iran on May 21.
Speaking on May 23, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari denied that Mansur was in Iran before the attack.
“Iranian authorities deny that such a person had entered Pakistan from the Iranian border,” he was quoted as saying by the official government news agency IRNA.
Tehran has in the past denied sending arms to the Taliban.
Based on reporting by AFP, IRNA and Reuters