Iran allows detained French academic to leave

Iran on Thursday gave permission for a French academic, who had been barred from leaving the country for over two months, to return home, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported. Stephane Dudoignon, arrested in southeastern Iran on Jan. 30 after photographing a Shiite religious procession in the sensitive region of Sistan-Baluchestan, may leave Iran as soon as Friday, said Muhammad Ali Hosseini, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman.