Iran News ...


5/24/07

4th Iranian-American Citizen Detained in Iran

For the fourth time in recent months, Iran has detained someone holding dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship.

The New York City-based Open Society Institute says Iran imprisoned Kian Tajbakhsh around May 11. The institute Wednesday called for his immediate release.


Kian Tajbakhsh


Tajbakhsh, a Tehran-based social scientist and urban planner, is a consultant affiliated with the institute, which was established by billionaire businessman George Soros to promote democracy and human rights.

On May 8, Iran imprisoned scholar Haleh Esfandiari, who also has dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship. Esfandiari is affiliated with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Washington-based foundation.

On Monday, Iran claimed Esfandiari admitted under interrogation she was trying to establish an unofficial network to topple the Iranian government. The Wilson Center's director, former U.S. Congressman Lee Hamilton denied that.

Iran also implicated George Soros's foundation in the alleged network to topple the Tehran government.

The U.S. State Department called Iran's accusations regarding Esfandiari "absurd."

Iran has also detained two other Iranian-American women, including Parnaz Azima, a correspondent for U.S.-funded Persian language broadcaster Radio Farda. She has been prevented from leaving Iran since January. Esfandiari and Azima were in Iran to visit their mothers.

The identity of the other woman has not been revealed at the request of her family.


Kian Tajbakhsh - Bio  (source: www.kiantajbakhsh.com)
Kian Tajbakhsh is a social scientist and urban planner. He has worked as a consultant in the areas of local government reform, urban planning and social policy, and has taught at  universities in the US and in Iran. He has worked with several organizations including Iran’s Municipalities Organization, the Social Security Organization, and international organizations such as the World Bank and the Dutch Association of Municipalities. His academic research examines the evolving nature of Iranian state institutions and the policy making process. He is the author of two books and over twenty academic papers. In 2006, he completed a three year study of the local government sector in Iran. From 1994 until 2001, Dr. Tajbakhsh taught Urban Policy and Politics at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He received his M.Sc. from University College, London in 1984, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1993.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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