NICOSIA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus foreign ministry on Friday officially named an Iranian man at the centre of a diplomatic row with Iran.
The ministry said in a statement that Saeid Mohabat was extradited to the United States after a court had decided that there was a case against him for committing serious offences.
"After Mr. Saeid Mohabat had exhausted all legal remedies in the Republic (of Cyprus) the Cypriot government decided that it could not but respond to the request of the U.S.A. for an extradition, along with all procedural and other safeguards applicable in similar cases," the ministry's statement said.
Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou had earlier said that the Iranian national was sought by the United States for taking part in the procurement and the transfer to Iran of prohibited military equipment from the United States, in violation of an arms embargo imposed by the U.N. Security Council on the Islamic state.
"The Republic of Cyprus had an obligation to arrest the man when he arrived on its territory," Nicolaou said.
The foreign ministry said it had been officially notified by the Islamic Republic of Iran that it had recalled its ambassador in Nicosia for consultations as of May 8.
"The Cyprus Republic considers that this extradition which took place two weeks ago, does not in any way constitute a non-friendly act towards the Islamic Republic of Iran and neither does it affect their relations, but It constitutes a compliance with our international obligations and the rule of law," the statement said.
The statement said it hoped that relations with Iran and bilateral cooperation will be preserved to the mutual benefit of the two countries' peoples.
In reporting on the case, the state television station said the Cypriot police was alerted about the Iranian man by Interpol.