Washington Post reporter charged by Tehran court
The charges were the first lodged since Rezaian, an Iranian American who holds dual citizenship, was arrested July 22. His family has hired an attorney for him, but the lawyer has not been permitted to visit him. The State Department has repeatedly raised the case of Rezaian, and other Americans jailed in Iran, during lengthy talks with the government about a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear capacity and ease international sanctions.
The source said that Rezaian spent about 10 hours in court Saturday while his case was reviewed by a judge. A translator accompanied Rezaian, who does not read Farsi, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. Rezaian signed a document saying he understood that he was being charged, the source said.
The proceedings appear to dash any hope that Rezaian could be freed in the near future. It could take as long as a month for the charges to be delivered to the full court, which would then set a trial date, the source said.
There are divergent views in Iran about the arrest of Rezaian, who has beenThe Post’s bureau chief in Tehran since 2012.
In a recent interview with France 24 television, the secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council, Mohammad Javad Larijani, said he hoped that Rezaian’s case will be presented to court “as soon as possible.”
“Let us hope that this fiasco will end on good terms,” Larijani added.
Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron expressed outrage Saturday over Rezaian’s continued detention. Rezaian’s family is concerned about the impact imprisonment may have on his health, as he has high blood pressure, multiple infections, back issues and emotional stress caused by his lengthy time in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.
“We are dismayed and outraged by reports that Jason Rezaian, The Post’s correspondent in Iran, has now been charged with unspecified crimes,” Baron said in a statement.
“The Iranian government has never explained why Jason was detained or why he has been held for more than four months without access to a lawyer. Jason is an American citizen who was acting as a fully accredited journalist. If he has indeed been charged, we know that any fair legal proceeding would quickly determine that any allegations against him are baseless.”
Rezaian was arrested with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, also a journalist, but she was released on bail early in October. She is the only one who has been permitted occasional visits with him.