Iran reports second-place arrest in California-based asylum group

Iran, Tehran (AP) —Iran’s judicial authorities said Wednesday that the country’s intelligence had arrested the second leader of a lesser-known radical Iranian opposition group based in California.

According to the judicial media outlet Mizanonline, this man is identified only as “Masmatus”, which looks like a pseudonym, and is considered to be the second commander of the group known as “Tondar”. The arrest took place last month, it said, without providing further details.

The suspect was allegedly involved in planning an attack on an Iranian mosque in 2008, killing 14 worshipers and injuring more than 200.

Iran also accused the group behind the 2010 bombing at the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran, injuring several.

In 2020, Iranian intelligence was the Iranian-American, Tondar’s No. 1 leader, or “Thunder” in Persian, in the same 2008 bombing of the Hosseynieh Seyed al-Shohada mosque in Shiraz. Jamshid Sharmahd was detained.

At that time, Iran claimed that Sharmad was planning other attacks around the Islamic Republic.

Tondar is an armed force of the Kingdom of Iran, known in Persian as Anjoman-e Padeshahi-e Iran. It seeks to restore the Iranian monarchy that ended when the deadly illness Shah Mohammad Reza Paflavi fled the country in 1979, just before the Islamic Revolution. The founders of the group disappeared in the mid-2000s.