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SYDNEY — Iran tried to extradite the gunman behind Sydney's deadly hostage crisis years ago, Tehran's top cop said, amid questions over how the self-styled cleric had found his way to Australia but not onto a watch list. Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old born in Iran, took 17 people hostage inside a downtown Sydney cafe on Monday. He was killed when police stormed the cafe to free the captives. Two hostages also died.
Monis grew up in Iran as Mohammad Hassan Manteghi. In 1996, he established a travel agency, but took his clients' money and fled, Iran's police chief, Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, told the country's official IRNA news agency Tuesday. Australia accepted him as a refugee around that time. The police chief said Iran tried to have Monis extradited from Australia in 2000, but that it didn't happen because Iran and Australia don't have an extradition agreement.
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he wanted to know how Monis had been granted permanent residency and why he had been receiving welfare benefits for years, despite being able-bodied "if not necessarily of sound mind."
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