Iran's supreme leader ordered the pardon of 100 "security"-related prisoners on Saturday including some involved in the huge protests against the disputed June 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The decision, reported late on Saturday by the semi-official Mehr news agency, appeared timed to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which is in its final days, when compassionate release is sometimes issued to prisoners.
Seventy of the 100 were due to be released immediately, on Saturday night, Mehr said. The others either had their sentences reduced or suspended.
"Based on an agreement of the supreme leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), 100 prisoners charged with security crimes have been granted amnesty. Some of them were involved in post-election sedition two years ago," Mehr said.