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Detained Iranian-American to be freed from Tehran prison 'within days'

[JURIST] Detained Iranian-American consultant Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh [OSI press release; JURIST news archive] is expected to be released from a Tehran prison "within the next few days," according to comments from Tajbakhsh and those of an Iranian spokesman talking to journalists during a interview at the notorious Evin Prison [AP report; Wikipedia backgrounder] Tuesday. Tajbakhsh and Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] were arrested [JURIST report] in May after alleged involvement in a plot against the Iranian government; though the investigation concluded in August and Esfandiari left Iran [JURIST reports] earlier this month, Tajbakhsh continued to be held without charge. Tajbakhsh reported during Tuesday's media visit that he still has not been formally charged, but an Iranian spokesman said he has been charged with endangering national security. It was reported [text] Tuesday that Tajbakhsh's bail has been set at one billion rials, lower than Esfandiari's posted bail [JURIST report].

Esfandiari remains accused of involvement in an alleged plot "against the sovereignty of the country." In July, a video aired on Iranian state television purporting to show Tajbakhsh and Esfandiari confessing to attempts to create a "gap between the [Iranian] government and the nation." Tajbakhsh's employer, the Open Society Institute [organization website], said that the statements were made under pressure from captors. Tajbakhsh told reporters Tuesday that prison conditions were "fine." AP has more.

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