Ali Mansouri
Ali Mansouri, 55, arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport on suspicion of espionage, sits in between guards at the Petah Tikva court on the first day of his trial, Sept. 30, 2013. Photo by AFP
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Iran on Tuesday denied any link to a man arrested in Israel last month on charges of spying for the Islamic republic.

"Those are worn-out attempts by the Zionist regime to campaign against Iran," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham, describing Israel's allegations as "unfounded."

Mansouri was arrested by the Shin Bet two and a half weeks ago, when he tried to leave Israel. The police announced the arrest on Sunday. When asked about the decision to lift the gag order on the case, the police representative said that the decision came down from a high-ranking police officer and wasn't made by the investigation team itself.

Israeli security officials suspect that Mansouri, who traveled under the guise of a Belgian businessman Alex Mans, was conducting business dealings as a cover for intelligence gathering and terrorism. They said Iran was also trying to use him to bypass the embargo on trade and financial transactions with Iran.

During his trips to Israel – the one this month was his third since last year – Mansouri tried to make contact with Tel Aviv business people, presenting himself as a Belgian businessman who sells windows and roofing for stores and restaurants. Several websites and a Facebook page had been created to make him seem legitimate.

The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court extended his remand Tuesday.