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A suspected assassin who lived in Canada for more than a decade has been deported to his native Iran.

Mansour Ahani, 37, who says he has been mistaken for a state-sponsored terrorist and will be killed or tortured upon his return, was flown to Tehran under escort this week.

For nine years he fought attempts by Ottawa to get rid of him. Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada turned down his last-ditch request to put off his deportation until the United Nations Human Rights Committee considered his case.

Mr. Ahani arrived in Canada in 1991 and claimed refugee status, which Ottawa granted in 1992. In 1993, however, the government reversed its decision and arrested him based on new information from police in Italy, where is wanted for using a false passport and having counterfiet U.S. currency.

He's been in prison in Canada ever since.

His case reached Canada's top court on two occasions. On the first, the Supreme Court said there was little reason to believe Mr. Ahani faces a real risk of torture. He was not an opponent of the regime. In fact, he had been in contact with the regime after being granted refugee status.

A month after getting Canada's protection, he flew to Zurich to meet an infamous Iranian assassin. The charges in Italy stem from the same trip, after he and another man where arrested taking photos in front of the residence of an Iranian dissident.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said that Mr. Ahani was part of a government-sponsored hit squad that targeted dissidents worldwide. Mr. Ahani acknowledged receiving training but said he thought it had to do with antidrug efforts rather than the assassination of dissidents.

"We don't know if Mr. Ahani was arrested upon his arrival in Iran," Immigration spokeswoman Danielle Sarazin said.

She said the Immigration Department does not follow up on what happens to people who are deported.