Iran says journalists held over ‘security issues’
By Associated Press August 18 at 10:51 AM
TEHRAN, Iran — A Washington Post reporter and two other journalists detained last month are being held over “security issues,” Iran’s judiciary spokesman said Monday, offering the first official indication on why they are being held.
Post reporter Jason Rezaian, his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two photojournalists were detained July 22 in Iran’s capital, Tehran. One photojournalist was later released.
Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi told reporters Monday that the case of the three journalists is still in the “initial stages of investigation.”
“The reason behind their detention is not financial but security issues,” Ejehi said. He didn’t elaborate.
The Washington Post has said Rezaian, 38, holds both American and Iranian citizenship. His wife is an Iranian citizen who has applied for U.S. permanent residency and works as a correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper The National. Both newspapers have called for their release.
Washington Post Iran correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, spoke with CNN host Anthony Bourdain in June for a “Parts Unknown” episode. (CNN and Zero Point Zero Production Inc.)
The identity of the detained photojournalist remains unknown.
Iranian officials previously have said the country doesn’t recognize dual citizenship and suggested those held would face justice under local law. Officials have not commented publicly on the specific reasons for the arrests or what charges the detainees might face.
Gholamhossein Esmaili, the director-general of Tehran province’s justice department, was quoted by Iran’s official IRNA news agency as saying last month that Iranian security forces are “vigilant towards all kind of enemies’ activities” and that “security forces won’t allow that our country be a parading ground for the enemy and its agents.” He did not elaborate.
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