Six of eight Slovak paragliders detained in Iran in mid-May for alleged espionage are back in Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico and Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák told the press on September 1.

Both Fico and Lajčák flew to Tehran on August 31 to take the detained Slovaks home, according to the website for Pravda daily.

The story of eight Slovaks detained for what Iranian authorities called "illegal activities, including taking photos of prohibited places" in Isfahan province, where several key nuclear facilities are located, including at least one plant used for enriching uranium first emerged in June. They are members of Paragliding Expedition Slovakia, a group that has organised several expeditions in recent years that formed the basis of documentary films they later presented at film festivals. The group reportedly travelled to Iran as tourists at the beginning of May.

Iranian authorities confirmed that eight Slovak paragliders had been detained on June 30, saying they were "behaving inappropriately and had unconventional devices with them", which civilians usually do not have access to, said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, as reported by the TASR newswire.

The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry officials have confirmed they were dealing with the case since the end of May.

Source: Pravda.sk, TASR

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.