Monday, May 14, 2007

Iranian-American Academic Charged With Spying...

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside

For Israel. Surprise, surprise. Its the Jews! Haleh Esfandiari has now been charged with with attempting to launch "a democratic revolution". I thought Iran was already a democracy? The Iranians also uncovered a vast Zionist plot involving Mossad as well:
Iran's foreign ministry on Sunday confirmed the government had detained a prominent American-Iranian academic who traveled to the country in December to visit her 93-year-old mother.

The admission by ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini came a day after the hard-line Iranian newspaper Kayhan accused Haleh Esfandiari of spying for the U.S. and Israel and for attempting to launch a democratic revolution in the country.

"She will be treated as other Iranian nationals, said Hosseini during his weekly press briefing. It is natural if there is any problem, it will be handled by authorities."

Although Hosseini said Esfandiari's detention was based on law, he did not provide further details on why the director of the Middle East Program at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars was being held.

The Kayhan newspaper was more explicit in its allegations against Esfandiari, who the Wilson Center has said was detained on Dec. 30 by three masked men with knives as she was on her way to the airport.

"She has been one of the main elements of
Mossad in driving a velvet revolution strategy in Iran, the paper wrote. She formed two networks, including Iranian activists, in the U.S and Dubai for toppling down [the Islamic government]".
Her husband denies all the accusations, and unfortunately she seems to be the victim of the illegitimate paranoia that surrounds the governments and regimes in the Middle East. Either way, if her only charge is attempting to bring democracy to a region void of representative government, she's a hero.

Visit Free Haleh! and sign the petition to free her here.

Update: Senators Hilary Clinton and Joe Lieberman have expressed concern over the "inexplicable detention" of Haleh Esfandiari:
"I am deeply concerned about the inexplicable detention of renowned scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari by the Iranian government," Clinton said in a statement.

Clinton said Esfandiari had made significant contributions to international women's issues and Iranian politics.

"This imprisonment contradicts the very essence of her work, which focuses on ensuring the promise of democracy and freedom to those who live under tyranny," the New York senator said.

"I urge the government of Iran to release Dr. Esfandiari," she said, and also called on Iran to ease travel restrictions on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Parnaz Azima who was also unable to leave Iran.

Senator Joseph Lieberman, meanwhile, said Esfandiari had been "inexplicably and inexcusably imprisoned."
Update 2: Iran's Foreign Ministry refuses to confirm the detention, despite widespread coverage of the story.

Iran Jails Iranian-American Academic
Iranian-American "Soft Hostages"

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