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To: DoctorZIn; Eala
Top Iranian MP confirms detention of academic
The head of the Iranian Parliament's national security and foreign policy commission has confirmed the arrest and detention of a Iranian-American academic on suspicion of spying, the state news agency IRNA reported.

Mohsen Mirdamadi, a reformist, said he had been informed by the intelligence ministry that Dariush Zahedi - who lectures at the University of California in the United States, was arrested several months ago while on a visit to Tehran.

But Mr Mirdamadi said that after an investigation, the intelligence ministry concluded the academic was not a spy and should be released, although this has been rejected by the hardline-run judiciary and Mr Zahedi was now being held by a "parallel intelligence service".

"After the intelligence ministry investigated the possibility of espionage activity, they found nothing on him and decided he should be freed," Mr Mirdamadi told IRNA.

"But the judiciary did not follow the advice of the ministry of intelligence, and they took him and gave him to one of the parallel intelligence apparatuses."

Mr Mirdamadi warned that Mr Zahedi may confess to spying "under pressure [and] after serving a long time in solitary confinement", and advised the judiciary that it could not risk another death in custody case.

The spotlight is currently on the Iranian judiciary and its rivals in the intelligence service over the death of Zahra Kazemi, a photographer who had dual Iranian-Canadian citizenship.

The United States has also voiced concern over the fate of Mr Zahedi, who colleagues say has been held in Tehran's Evin prison for three months.

Mr Zahedi was born in Iran and emigrated to the United States as a teenager.

He is an expert on Iranian politics and is director of the West Coast operations of the American Iranian Council.

Iran's foreign ministry said earlier it was looking into reports that he had been detained after receiving inquiries into the matter from Mr Zahedi's mother.

-- AFP
8 posted on 11/01/2003 6:28:00 AM PST by knighthawk (And we all cry for freedom with your fists in the sky)
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To: knighthawk
Thanks for the post, knighthawk.

We're following this story.
Here's a little more for you:

"Rutgers University professor and friend Hooshang Amir-Ahmadi said that a combination of being in the wrong place and time may have led to Zahedi’s arrest.

"According to Amir-Ahmadi, shortly before Zahedi’s arrest, he met with members of the Freedom Movement, a national religious opposition group. Although the exchange was intellectual, because the meeting was staged during a volatile time—around the date of an annual protest marking a deadly 1999 police crackdown on students—Zahedi may have come under government suspicion."

19 posted on 11/01/2003 12:02:22 PM PST by nuconvert
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