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Iran Agrees to Free Lebanese-American Citizen Nizar Zakka

Iran’s Judiciary agreed on Tuesday to release Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese national with permanent US residency who has been imprisoned in Iran for espionage since 2015.

Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hussein Esmaili announced at a weekly press conference on Tuesday that the court has agreed to release Zakka, who will be handed over to representatives of Lebanon.

“This is a totally judicial process without any political stances being considered,” he underlined.

He also noted that requests for the release of the inmate were considered “within the framework of law” and also through the Iranian Supreme National Security Council’s secretariat and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Zakka, 52, a Lebanese-born man with permanent US citizenship, was arrested in Tehran in September 2015 while attending a conference on women and sustainable development.

The IT expert residing in Washington, DC, was convicted of espionage for foreign governments and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2016.

His release from prison follows a whole series of diplomatic contacts and arrangements between the Iranian and Lebanese authorities.

Lebanon’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants has thanked Iranian officials for “ending this file and moving forward the bilateral relations between the two countries.”

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