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Iran Repeats Charges Against Detained Scholars

Esfandiari (left to right), Tajbaksh, and Azima (file photo) (RFE/RL) June 6, 2007 -- Iran has reiterated espionage charges against two detained U.S.-Iranian scholars.

The Iran Students News Agency today quoted Hassan Hadad, Tehran's deputy prosecutor, as saying Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh have admitted carrying out activities, but they said their intention was helping Iran.

The agency said a third U.S.-Iranian, Parnaz Azima, has been accused of working for "counterrevolutionary" Radio Farda, which is operated by the U.S.-funded broadcasters RFE/RL and Voice of America, and her case is ready to go to court.

Azima is not in jail, but her passport had been confiscated.

On May 31, international human rights groups
called on Iran to release
Esfandiari and Tajbakhsh and peace activist Ali Shakeri. All
three are being held on suspicions of spying or acting against state

The United States has denied they or Azima are spies or clandestine employees of the U.S. government.


Radio Farda's Persian-Language Website

Radio Farda's Persian-Language Website

UPDATED CONSTANTLY: Visit RFE/RL's Persian-language website, featuring news, analysis, features, streaming audio, and more, in Persian, from Radio Farda.


RFE/RL's English-language coverage of Iran.