A former Iranian Defense Ministry official who went missing in Turkey may have been kidnapped by Western intelligence, Iran's police chief was quoted by an Iranian news agency as saying on Tuesday.
Iran said on Monday it was taking steps to solve the case of Ali Reza Asgari, 63, a former senior member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who Turkish reports said went missing after checking into an Istanbul hotel on February 7.
Iran has asked Turkey to investigate his disappearance.
"It is possible that former deputy defense minister Asgari was kidnapped by Western intelligence services because of his Defense Ministry background," Police chief Ismail Ahmadi-Moghaddam was quoted by ILNA news agency as saying.
The report did not give more details about Asgari's work but Turkey's Hurriyet daily, in an unsourced report, had earlier said he was involved in nuclear work.
Iran is embroiled in a row about its nuclear program, which the West says is a covert attempt to make atomic bombs, a charge Tehran denies.
"The former deputy in a personal trip, first went to Damascus and then Turkey. He went missing after three days stay in Turkey. Police inquiries show he has not left Turkey," The Iranian police chief said.
He said there was no indication Asgari had died or had been hospitalized.