3 Jan 2010

Appeal over Bin Laden daughter

3:20 pm on 3 January 2010

Saudi Arabia has urged Iran to allow a daughter of Osama Bin Laden to leave the country after the Iranians acknowledged she was in Tehran.

Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said his government was in talks with Iran over freeing the daughter of the fugitive al-Qaeda leader.

Iman Bin Laden, 17, is said to have recently escaped from a compound where she and others were under house arrest. She took refuge in the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

A Saudi newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, reported last month that Iman and five siblings have been held under house arrest by Iran since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The newspaper says the embassy has issued her with a travel permit to allow her to return to Saudi Arabia.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said last week that he had been informed that Bin Laden's daughter Iman was in Tehran.

He said it was "unclear" how she she had got there, but she could leave if she obtained the right travel documents.

Osama Bin Laden was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991.