A FORMER Iranian diplomat, recently accused of involvement in a bombing massacre, has finished his studies at Durham University.

Extradition proceedings involving Hadi Soleimanpour were officially discontinued by the Home Office last week and he is now free to return to Iran after completing a PhD research course in environmental tourism at Durham.

Mr Soleimanpour, 47, Iran's former ambassador to Argentina, was accused of conspiracy to murder in connection with a 1994 car bomb attack on a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires.

The attack killed 85 people and left a further 200 injured.

Mr Soleimanpour was arrested in Durham on an Argentinian warrant in August and was held in custody until bail was set at £730,000 by the High Court, in September.

But the bid to extradite him collapsed after the Home Office said there was not enough evidence against him to meet the Argentinian request.

Mr Soleimanpour, married to a biologist, with two children, was researching a PhD in nature-based tourism at Durham. He lived in a student flat in Kepier Court, off Claypath, from February last year.

A university spokesman confirmed yesterday that the thesis was completed and submitted at the end of October.

It is understood Mr Soleimanpour has left the university and may have returned to Tehran. He will be invited to receive the PhD at one of the university's degree ceremonies at Durham Cathedral.

The spokesman said: "We don't know when he was last in Durham, but we don't track people that closely once they have completed their studies.

"He can come personally to the ceremony to receive it, or it can be conferred in his absence, as with any graduate."