Iran Releases Dissident After 4 Months
Nasser Karimi, The Washington Post:
Iran on Wednesday released liberal intellectual Ramin Jahanbegloo, who was accused of working with the U.S. to overthrow the government, a human rights activist said.
Ramin Jahanbegloo was released from Evin prison after four months of confinement, said Kouhyar Goodarzi, a member of the Student Committee of Human Rights Reporters of Iran.
Jahanbegloo was arrested in April but was not officially charged, and Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi said in July that he was involved in U.S. efforts to overthrow the government.
Azin Moalej, Jahanbegloo's wife, also confirmed that her husband was released on bail, but refused to provide details. READ MORE
In May, the state-controlled IRAN Persian daily newspaper said that Jahanbegloo, who worked for the private Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran, had been arrested for espionage and violating security measures.
Jahanbegloo, 46, studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris and Harvard University. He has published some 20 books in English, French and Farsi and interviewed several global figures such as the Dalai Lama and famed linguist Noam Chomsky.
During his time in jail, many local and international scholars, including Chomsky, urged the government to release him.
In July, Ejehi said his ministry's counterespionage department had thwarted several plots in the past 10 months, alleging that Washington trained, supported and organized people to challenge Iran's Islamic system of government.
Iran and the United States oppose one another on a range of issues, the key one being Tehran's nuclear program. The U.S. and some of its allies suspect Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to build nuclear weapons. Tehran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear program is only for generating electricity.
The two countries broke off diplomatic relations in 1979, after militant students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took American diplomats as hostages for 444 days.