An Iranian rebel leader said Saturday the Iranian government is recruiting terrorists to kidnap and assassinate opponents in foreign countries.

The rebel leader also claimed the American hostages in Lebanon are held by the Iranian terrorists, not by Moslem extremist groups as is widely believed.The Americans are held in a special underground base near Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley of southern Lebanon, said Ali Reza Jaferzadeh, chief spokesman for the anti-government People's Mujahedeen Organization. He spoke to The Associated Press in Baghdad.

He said the terrorists were recruited from Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

He said the terrorist unit is controlled by Hashemi Rafsanjani, speaker of Iran's Parliament and acting commander in chief of its armed forces, and receives logistical support from the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria.

"The American hostages are held at Sheikh Abdullah Base of the Revolutionary Guards in Baalbeck," the rebel said. "The man who is in charge of the base is a commander of the (Revolutionary) Guards division in Lebanon, whose name is Khascar."

Kidnappers hold nine Americans captive in Lebanon, in addition to seven other foreigner.