Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | July 6, 2009
Home : International
IRAN - British-Greek reporter freed
TEHRAN, Iran (AP):

Iran said yesterday it has released a British-Greek journalist held for more than two weeks following its disputed presidential elections as dissent continued in Iran with the son of a prominent Iranian revolutionary icon making a rare public push for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's removal from office.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hasan Qashqavi said that Iason Athanasiadis, believed to be the only journalist held in the widespread crackdown who does not hold Iranian citizenship, had been released in the framework of "Tehran-Athens ties".

Deeply satisfied

The Greek Foreign Ministry said Athanasiadis "will depart Teheran within the day".

"I am deeply satisfied over the release of Iason Athanasiadis ... (we were) in constant, close contact with the Iranian Foreign Ministry," Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said yesterday.

There were no details on Athanasiadis' current location.

The news comes amid increasingly strident rhetoric by both pro-government and opposition forces in the aftermath of the June 12 presidential elections that provoked weeks of demonstrations in the streets that were later crushed by security forces.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has called the election a fraud and claims that he, not Ahmadinejad, is the real winner. More than a thousand people were detained, including many journalists and bloggers, although many of them have been released.

While the street protests have largely been silenced, debate still rages within Iranian society showing the deep fissures the election has produced. Yesterday, the son of an Iranian revolutionary icon called for parliament to dismiss Ahmadinejad, a rare call by such a high-profile person.

Reverse election results

Ali Reza Beheshti, 47, a close Mousavi ally and son of one of the main leaders of the 1979 Islamic revolution, also urged the Parliament to reverse the election results, saying that "people expect their representatives to represent them and not to defend authorities by any means".

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