Lawyer: Iran releases American businessman

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 16, 2010 21:33

 
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WASHINGTON  — Iran on Saturday set free an American businessman jailed in Teheran for more than two years on suspicion of ties to an allegedly violent opposition group, his lawyer said.

Reza Taghavi, 71, hadn't been charged with a crime and denied knowingly supporting the organization, known as Tondar.

"He admitted to nothing and he continues to maintain his innocence," the lawyer, Pierre Prosper, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Teheran after his client's release from Teheran's Evin prison. He's not expected to return to Southern California before the middle of next week.

Iranian officials are "comfortable that he was in fact used by this organization, and comfortable that he does not pose a threat to them and that he can leave and go back to the United States," Prosper said.

Iran had accused Taghavi of passing $200 in cash to an Iranian man tied to Tondar. Taghavi, who regularly visits Iran to conduct business and see family, had received the money from a friend in California with instructions to pass the cash to an Iranian, according to Prosper.

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