Iran releases Iranian-American academic Kian Tajbakhsh

September 20, 2007 18:21


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Iran has released an Iranian-American democracy scholar after spending four months in prison - the third time in recent weeks Tehran has set free dual citizens it accuses of trying to stir up a revolution. Kian Tajbakhsh, an urban planning consultant with the Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute, was released late Wednesday, Iran's official news agency, IRNA, reported Thursday. He was one of four Iranian-Americans charged with endangering national security - an accusation they and their employers denied. The charges have increased tensions between the United States and Iran, already high over US accusations that Iran was seeking to develop nuclear weapons and is fueling violence in Iraq. Iran denies both claims. But in recent weeks, Iran has shown a change of heart toward the case. Last month, Iranian-American academic Haleh Esfandiari was also released from the Evin prison where Tajbakhsh, 45, was held. She has since returned to the United States.

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