Iran General NewsIran to free U.S.-Iranian on bail soon: judge

Iran to free U.S.-Iranian on bail soon: judge

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Reuters: An Iranian-American academic detained in Iran will be freed soon on bail, the judge in charge of his case said on Tuesday.
By Hossein Jaseb

TEHRAN (Reuters) – An Iranian-American academic detained in Iran will be freed soon on bail, the judge in charge of his case said on Tuesday.

Kian Tajbakhsh was detained in May on security-related charges in May while visiting the country.

“Bail of about 100,000 dollars has been set and he will be released soon,” judge Hassan Haddad told Iran’s student news agency ISNA, without giving further details.

A U.S.-Iranian academic also detained in May on the same charges, Haleh Esfandiari, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, was released on bail in August. She returned to the United States in early September.

Tajbakhsh, a consultant with the Soros Institute, earlier told reporters visiting Tehran’s Evin prison that he expected to be released shortly. He said he had been held in solitary confinement for about 120 days.

“I expect to be freed soon … My conditions inside the prison are fine,” Tajbakhsh told reporters taken on a visit to the prison, where many political activists and pro-reform students are held. The visit was organized by the judiciary.

Both he and Esfandiari had been charged with acting against national security and spying.

Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi also said he would likely be released soon, “probably within the next few days”.

Iran’s state television aired a program in July called “In the Name of Democracy”, which Iran’s Foreign Ministry said had revealed a U.S.-backed plot to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment.

The United States denounced the program as “illegitimate and coerced”, urging Tehran to release the detainees.

Despite being freed on bail, the case against Esfandiari remains open although it is not clear if she will face trial. It is not clear whether Tajbakhsh could also still be tried if he is released.

Another U.S.-Iranian Ali Shakeri, a founding board member of the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding at the University of California, is also being held at Evin Prison while a fourth was previously released on bail and her passport returned.

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