Iran arrests prominent philosopher for espionage

In the first detention of a prominent academic since the election last June of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian authorities have arrested a liberal philosopher for espionage, official media reported Thursday. Sohrab Soleimani, a Tehran prison department official, confirmed the arrest of Ramin Jahanbegloo, the official IRAN Persian daily reported. It also quoted an unidentified official as saying that Jahanbegloo was arrested a few days ago on charges of espionage and violating security measures. It did not elaborate. Calls to authorities were not immediately returned on Thursday, the beginning of the weekend in Iran. Jahanbegloo, 46, studied at the Sorbonne University, Paris. He headed the office of contemporary studies at the private Cultural Research Bureau. His achievements include conducting post doctorate research at Harvard University and writing some twenty books in English, French and Farsi. Jahanbegloo has also interviewed several global figures, including the Dalai Lama this year and American intellectual Noam Chomsky in 2002.