Washington Post Journalist Indicted in Iran

Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, detained in Iran for months, has been indicted over unknown charges.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

A courtroom at the revolutionary court in Teh
A courtroom at the revolutionary court in Teh
AFP photo

A Washington Post journalist detained in Iran for months has been indicted and will stand trial, The Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday.

The report of the indictment by the official IRNA news agency did not elaborate what charges the journalist, Jason Rezaian, faced.

The report came the same day as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif before talks with world powers resume over the Islamic Republic's contested nuclear program.

It wasn't immediately clear if the two events were connected, though Zarif earlier said he hoped the case against reporter Jason Rezaian could be "resolved."

"We will have to wait for the judiciary to move forward, but we will try to provide all the humanitarian assistance that we could," Zarif told journalists in Geneva, according to AP. "We hope that this issue could be resolved but unfortunately there are judicial issues involved which the judiciary has to deal with."

IRNA quoted Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi saying as Rezaian, the newspaper's bureau chief in Tehran since 2012, had been indicted. He was previously charged last month, but the bill of indictment clears the way for his trial.

The IRNA report did not disclose what charges Rezaian, an Iranian-American who holds dual citizenship, faces, nor when his trial would begin. However, the report says he will stand trial in Iran's Revolutionary Court, which mostly hears cases involving security offenses.

The newspaper and Rezaian's mother have repeatedly called for his release.

"We still do not know what charges the Iranian authorities have brought against our correspondent Jason Rezaian, but we hope the referral of his case to a Revolutionary Court represents a step forward toward Jason's prompt release," said a statement from Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post.

"This step gives Iran's judiciary an opportunity to demonstrate its fairness and independence by determining that the charges are baseless. We call on Iran to make these charges public, to allow Jason access to a lawyer and to bring a swift and just resolution of a six-month-long nightmare that has been extremely difficult for Jason and his family."

IRNA quoted the prosecutor as saying Rezaian's mother met twice with him on her recent visit to Iran.

Rezaian, his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and two photojournalists initially were detained July 22 in Iran's capital, Tehran. All later were released except Rezaian.

The State Department repeatedly has raised the subject of Rezaian and other Americans jailed in Iran during talks with the government about a deal to curb Iran's nuclear capacity and ease international sanctions.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Wednesday that the U.S. was aware of the Iranian press reports and was seeking further information.

Another American being held in Iran is dual U.S.-Iranian citizen Amir Hekmati, who was arrested in 2011, put on trial and found guilty of spying for the CIA. Hekmati’s family and the U.S. government say the dual U.S.-Iranian citizen is not a spy and went to Iran to visit his grandmother.

He was subsequently sentenced to death, a penalty that was recently overturned and reduced to 10 years in prison. 



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