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Iran trying to release residents held in US

Washington, Jan 31, IRNA -- The interests section of the Islamic Republic in Washington is trying to release Iranian residents who have been detained in that country following the US new migration measures.

At least 500 male Middle Eastern immigrants, mostly Iranians, were detained in California last month by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) when they reported to local immigration offices to be fingerprinted and photographed.

The Iranian interest section has so far taken several measures to pursue the case and is even planning to meet the detained Iranians and interview them.

Iranian Foreign Ministry has protested to the Swiss government, which takes care of US interests in Iran, against the harsh treatment the INS has accorded on members of Iranian community in the United States.

Some of the detained have been arrested because of violating US migration laws but many of them are in prison for merely lacking sufficient papers.

The INS has released a number of inmates but many are still in custody.

Tehran and Washington have held no diplomatic ties since 1979 after the US severed its relations with the Islamic Republic after 'Students Following the Line of Imam' stormed the US embassy, known as the den of espionage, and took its staff hostage.

... Payvand News - 1/31/03 ... --

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