US says American woman said jailed in Iran is free

January 9, 2011 01:56

The State Department says an American woman reportedly arrested in Iran for espionage is safe and not in Iranian custody.

Spokesman Mark Toner said Saturday that the woman, identified by Iranian authorities as 34-year-old Hal Fayalan, has been located by US officials who have "confirmed that the individual is safe." Toner said the woman is not in Iran. A US official who declined to be identified due to privacy concerns, said the woman is in Istanbul, Turkey, and that American consular officials are in touch with her.

Earlier Saturday, a senior Iranian police official said Iranian border guards had detained the woman on Wednesday in the town of Jolfa along Iran's border with Azerbaijan on suspicion of spying, the latest in a string of conflicting reports about the case.

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