Iran wants reporter cleared of charges

Iran wants reporter cleared of charges


Iran’s top envoy to Italy has expressed concern about the delay in clearing a veteran Iranian reporter of arms trafficking charges, saying it could hurt Tehran-Rome ties.

Hamid Masouminejad, an outspoken critic of Italian President Silvio Berlusconi’s policies, was arrested last March along with five Italians and another Iranian national on charges of smuggling weapons to Iran in violation of an international arms embargo.

“Our concern is to avoid further delays in this issue, as it could have a negative impact on the good relations between Iran and Italy,” Tehran’s Ambassador to Rome Mohammad-Ali Hosseini told Far News Agency.

“We are constantly in contact with Italian officials and Mr. Masouminejad’s lawyers,” he added. “During these consultations his innocence, which was stressed by us from the start, is made more and more evident.”

The Iranian diplomat went on to add that Masouminejad, who has been released on bail, is currently under house arrest, but has been allowed to commute to his office.

Iran has firmly denied the allegations against the reporter, who has been a correspondent for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in Rome for more than 15 years.

Hosseini also added that efforts to secure the immediate and unconditional release of the other detained Iranian national, Ali Damirchilou, were underway.



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