Iran urged to free Washington Post reporter

2015-07-28 14:37
Jason Rezaian. (Molly Riley, AP)

Jason Rezaian. (Molly Riley, AP)

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Tehran - The lawyer of a Washington Post reporter jailed in Iran for espionage demanded Tuesday the release of her client, citing the new atmosphere after Tehran's nuclear agreement with world powers.

Her plea comes a week after Iranian-American reporter Jason Rezaian began his second year behind bars.

Rezaian, aged 39, faces charges including "espionage, collaboration with hostile governments, gathering classified information and disseminating propaganda against the Islamic republic", according to his lawyer Leila Ahsan.

"With the new circumstances after the Vienna agreement, I have requested the judge to exonerate my client as soon as possible," Ahsan was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

Six world powers, including the United States, clinched a historic nuclear agreement with Iran in the Austrian capital on July 14.

Next trial session

Under the deal, Iran must take measures to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of crippling sanctions imposed by the West.

"Based on the new procedural rules of the criminal courts, implemented since late June, the detention of my client must end," Ahsan contended.

"Most probably, the next trial session would be the last one and I will present my defence then," she added.

Rezaian was arrested with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, also a journalist, at their home on July 22, 2014.

Salehi and a photographer who was detained on the same day were released on bail after two and a half months in custody.

Rezaian's American mother Mary has expressed hope her son will be freed on bail.

Three trial sessions have been held behind closed doors for the journalist since late May.

Read more on:    us  |  iran  |  media  |  iran nuclear programme

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