Iranian agent flying home to Tehran: airport official

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Iranian agent Ali Vakili Rad was headed home to Tehran on Tuesday after his release from a French jail where he was held for the murder of the shah's last prime minister, an airport official said.

Vakili Rad took an Iran Air flight from Paris' Orly airport to Tehran after a court granted him parole and the French interior minister had signed a deportation order.

The Iranian national had served 16 years in jail for stabbing and strangling to death the shah's last prime minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, at his home outside Paris in 1991.

Vakili Rad's release just days after Iran sent French academic Clotilde Reiss back home triggered claims from opposition politicians that Paris had agreed to a quid pro quo with Tehran.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government flatly denied that there had been a secret deal.

© 2010 AFP

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