Iranian official: Washington Post

journalist could be freed in ‘less than a
month’

Object 1

By William Branigin and Anup Kaphle November 6 at 11:16 AM

Washington Post
reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been detained in Iran since July without trial,
could be released in less than a month, according to a senior Iranian official.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, who heads Iran’s human rights council and is a top
adviser to the country’s supreme leader, said in an interview in Geneva with the
Euronews television channel that security officials have now filed charges against
Rezaian alleging “that he was involved in activities beyond journalism.” Larijani
said that meant activity “which breaches the security of the state,” but he offered no

specifics.
[Read the transcript of the interview with Mohammad Javad Larijani]
Larijani said in English that the fate of Rezaian, 38, who has dual U.S. and Iranian
citizenship, is up to Iranian judicial authorities, but he expressed hope that the case
against him could soon be dropped.
“My hope is that before going to the court process, the prosecutor could be content

to drop the case to see that maybe the accusations are not quite substantial,”
Euronews quoted Larijani as saying in the interview.

Jason Rezaian, the Tehran correspondent for The Washington Post, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, an
Iranian journalist, are shown in Tehran in September 2013. (EPA)

He also said it was possible that the court could pardon Rezaian “and totally drop
all the charges,” adding, “Then everything is finished.”
Asked when the case might be resolved, Larijani said, “Well, I anticipate in less
than a month.”
Euronews, which is based in France, did not specify when the interview occurred

but said it would be aired in full on Friday. Larijani made similar comments in
an interview with the New York Times last week.
Rezaian was arrested July 22 along with his wife, Iranian journalist Yeganeh Salehi,
and another couple. Salehi was freed early last month. Rezaian has been prohibited
from hiring a lawyer on grounds that no formal charges had yet been filed against
him.
Last week, Rezaian’s family called on authorities in Tehran to free him, citing a lack
of any evidence against him and expressing concerns for his health. Rezaian, who
takes medication to control high blood pressure, is being held in solitary
confinement in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, which houses common criminals as
well as dissidents, intellectuals and journalists, his family said.
Citing unidentified sources, the Voice of America reported Wednesday that
Rezaian’s physical and mental health have deteriorated in the past few weeks since
the release of his wife. The U.S. government-owned broadcaster said Rezaian has
“several untreated health issues, including a serious eye infection that doctors were
concerned could lead to blindness.” The report could not immediately be confirmed
independently.
In the interview with Euronews, Larijani, who comes from a politically influential
family and whose brother, Sadegh Larijani, heads Iran’s judicial system, answered
vaguely when pressed on the reason for Rezaian’s detention.
“Because the last article he wrote before being detained was about how Iranians

love baseball,” journalist James Franey asked. “How does that threaten national
security?”
“No, this definitely does not bring any charge against him,” Larijani replied. “So let

me just stop at this point and say that these charges considered by the prosecutor of

the case are enough to detain him. . . . So this prosecutor detained him and again
renewed his detention because the file was not ready, but I think this dossier is
approaching completion.”
He added: “I expect that his case will come to a rather final stage. Either he will be
totally discharged or it will go the court, and the court will make a final decision.”

William Branigin writes and edits breaking news. He previously was a reporter on
the Post’s national and local staffs and spent 19 years overseas, reporting in
Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East and Europe.

Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S.
degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him
on Twitter andFacebook.
Posted by Thavam