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Washington Post reporter among 4 journalists detained in Tehran

Iran has reportedly detained four journalists this week, including three Americans. Among the detained is an American citizen correspondent for the Washington Post.
By JC Finley   |   July 25, 2014 at 11:14 AM   |   Comments

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TEHRAN, July 25 (UPI) -- Four journalists, including three Americans, have reportedly been detained by Iranian authorities for unknown reasons.

The Washington Post reported that one of their own is among the group detained. Jason Rezaian, 38, a dual U.S. and Iranian citizen, has worked for the Post since 2012. Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl described Rezaian as "an experienced, knowledgeable reporter who deserves protection and whose work merits respect."

According to "credible reports," Jehl said that Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were detained for unknown reasons on Tuesday evening in Tehran.

"We are deeply troubled by this news and are concerned for the welfare of Jason, Yeganeh and two others said to have been detained with them."

Rezaian's wife, Salehi, is an Iran correspondent for The National, a United Arab Emirates-based newspaper.

The Washington Post did not identify the other two journalists who have been detained.

On Friday, Iran's state-run Islamic Republic News Agency confirmed Rezaian's arrest. IRNA quoted Gholam-Hossain Esmaili, director general of the Tehran Province Justice Department, as telling reporters a "Washington Post journalist has been detained for some questions and after technical investigations, the judiciary will provide details on the issue." He added that "Iranian security forces are vigilant towards all kind of enemies' activities."

Thomas Erdbrink, the Iran-based Tehran bureau chief for the New York Times, took to Twitter to condemn the detentions, writing "I strongly condemn the arrest of my friend and colleague, Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and two photographers, also friends."


Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement in response to the detentions:

"We call on Iranian authorities to immediately explain why Jason Rezaian, Yeganeh Salehi, and two other journalists have been detained, and we call for their immediate release."

The U.S. Department of State acknowledged it is aware of reports of U.S. citizens detained in Tehran. Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf affirmed "Our highest priority is the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad" but declined to disclose further information regarding the detention.

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