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Iran Releases American Businessman After 2 Years

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian authorities have set free an American businessman who has been imprisoned in Tehran for more than two years on suspicion of ties to an allegedly violent opposition group.

Reza Taghavi was detained at the Evin prison in Tehran

Pierre Prosper, a lawyer for Reza Taghavi, 71, said his client "admitted to nothing and he continues to maintain his innocence."

He said Taghavi is expected to return to the United States sometime next week.

Iran had accused Taghavi of passing $200 in cash to an Iranian man tied to an opposition group called Tondar.

Taghavi said he passed along the money, believing it was a gift for someone in need.

U.S. ABC News, which interviewed Taghavi, reported that Iranian authorities eventually came to believe Taghavi's version of events.

U.S. State Department spokesman Noel Clay said Washington welcomes the release of Taghavi from detention in Tehran's Evin Prison, and said he will soon be reunited with his family.

compiled from agency reports

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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