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Iran Completes Probe of Detained US-Iranian Academics

By VOA News 12 August 2007

Iran says it has completed an investigation into the cases of two Iranian-American academics detained in Tehran on charges of harming national security.

Hasan Haddad, Tehran's deputy prosecutor told Iranian state media Sunday that Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh must now complete a series of written tasks before their fate will be decided. He did not say what the written work involves.

Esfandiari and Tajbakhsh have been held at a top-security prison in Tehran since they were detained in May.

The Iranian prosecutor says the case of Ali Shakeri, a third Iranian-American detained in recent months, has no connection to the two academics. He says it is too soon to release details of the charges against the peace activist.

The prosecutor made no mention of a fourth Iranian-American, journalist Parnaz Azima, who has been prevented from leaving Tehran.

Azima works for U.S.-funded Radio Farda. Iranian authorities confiscated her passport in January.

Last month, Iranian television broadcast video in which Esfandiari and Tajbakhsh apparently confessed to trying to turn Iran into a Western-style democracy.

Washington said the statements were coerced and accused Tehran of mistreating the detainees.

... Payvand News - 8/12/07 ... --

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