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Freed American Returns From Iran Custody


Iranian-American businessman Reza Taghavi speaking to a reporter at this home in Tehran on October 17, after his release from Iranian custody.

Iranian-American businessman Reza Taghavi speaking to a reporter at this home in Tehran on October 17, after his release from Iranian custody.

A former businessman has arrived home in the United States after spending more than two years in an Iranian jail after he shuttled money purportedly bound for an outlawed group in Iran.

Reza Taghavi was detained by Iranian authorities in May 2008 for giving some $200 to Tondar (Thunder), whose website claims is seeking to oust the Islamic system and restore the Iranian monarchy.

Reports last week said he had been released without admitting any guilt.

Taghavi, 71, said after his release that he had been asked to hand over the money but was unaware it was destined for a banned organization.

Iran's state-controlled English-language broadcaster Press TV reported on October 21, the same day as the release, that a man named Ali Motlaq had confessed to working with Tondar and sought to bomb an Iranian judiciary facility.

The station suggested that Motlaq had Western backing.

At least two other Americans are in Iranian custody.

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer have been held since they were detained after allegedly crossing the Iranian border from Iraq along with companion Sarah Shourd in July 2009. Shourd was released on bail in mid-September.

Washington has repeatedly asserted their innocence and urged their release.

compiled from Reuters and other agency reports
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