Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

3 Iranian-Americans charged in Iran

Iranian courts charged three Iranian-Americans with engaging in espionage, The Associated Press reported today.

Among the three charged is Haleh Esfandiari, Director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center. Esfandiari has been held in Iran since May 8. The charges come just a day after historic U.S.-Iranian talks on Iraq and America’s concerns that Iran is funding various militias.

“Esfandiari has been formally charged with endangering national security through propaganda against the system and espionage for foreigners. . . . The complainant is the Intelligence Ministry,” judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said.

Kian Tajbakhsh, a consultant with the George Soros’ Open Society Institute, and journalist Parnaz Azima have also been charged with endangering national security through propaganda and espionage. Both the Wilson Center and the Open Society Institute have denied any strategy to implement what Iran has dubbed a “quiet revolution.”

A possible outcome could be a negotiation between the three Iranian-Americans and five detained Iranians in U.S. custody, although such as issue was not raised in the recent talks between the two countries.

For the full article, click here.

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