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Lebanese U.S. Resident Convicted Of Spying Leaves Iran For Beirut: Reports

Source: RFE/RL

A Lebanese national imprisoned in Iran on charges of spying for the United States has been released and is heading to Beirut with Lebanon's security chief, reports say. Western news agencies quoted an unidentified Lebanese official as saying on June 11 that Nizar Zakka was on a plane with General Ibrahim Abbas.

Nizar Zakka speaks at a forum in May 2015.

Earlier in the day, a spokesman for Iran's judiciary said an Iranian court had agreed on Zakka's "conditional release," adding that the man would be handed over to Lebanese authorities.

The spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, did not give details of the conditions of Zakka's release.

Lebanon's president and foreign minister had urged Iran to grant an amnesty to Zakka, and Iranian media reported on June 10 that he was to be released "only because of the respect and dignity" Iran has for Iran-backed Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

A Washington, D.C., resident and a U.S. Green Card holder, Zakka was head of an Arab IT organization that advocated for Internet development in the Middle East.

He was detained in September 2015 in Tehran after attending a government-organized conference.

In 2016, the 52-year-old was sentenced to 10 years in prison and handed a $4.2 million fine after a court convicted him of espionage -- a charge he denied.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

... Payvand News - 06/11/19 ... --

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