US woman held in Iran 'with spy equipment in teeth'

US woman held in Iran 'with spy equipment in teeth'
Tehran: Iranian officials have arrested an American woman on spying charges after she tried to enter the country from Armenia "with spying equipment in her teeth," Fars news agency reported today.

"About a week ago an American spy woman whose name is said to be Hal Talayan was arrested by customs officials at Nordouz" border area in East Azarbaijan province, Fars said, quoting an unnamed source.

"The 55-year-old American woman was arrested while she had entered Iran from Armenia without a visa and had placed spying equipment in her teeth," the report said, without elaborating.

"This American spy said after arrest that she would be killed by Armenian security forces if Iran handed her over," the report said.

There has been no official confirmation of the arrest, which was first reported yesterday by a little known conservative news website Nasimonline.ir, without naming any sources.

If confirmed she will be the fourth American arrested by Iran on spying charges along with hikers Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal.

The three were detained on the Iranian border on July 31, 2009 during a hiking excursion in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

While Shourd was released on humanitarian grounds, Iranian authorities have not dropped the case against her and officials have set February 6 as a trial date for all three hikers.