Iranian-American not to Leave Iran

Iranian officials said on Wednesday that Kian Tajbakhsh, an Iranian-American arrested on charges of harming national security earlier this year, would not be allowed to leave the country after he is released on bail. “Bail of about 100,000 dollars has been set and he will be released soon,” Judge Hassan Haddad told FNA, adding, “But he must come to the court if he or his lawyer is summoned.”

Meantime, Haddad said that Tajbakhsh may leave the country if he can receive the positive view of the interrogator of his case.

Earlier on Tuesday, Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi also said that Tajbakhsh would likely be released soon, “probably within the next few days.”

Ali Reza Jamshidi made the remarks during a tour of Iran’s Evin prison arranged for Iranian and foreign journalists.

Also during the tour, Tajbakhsh told reporters, “I expect to be freed soon … My conditions inside the prison are fine.”

Tajbakhsh, a consultant with the Soros institute, founded by billionaire investor George Soros, was arrested by Iranian forces on charges of harming national security through efforts to spark a velvet revolution in Iran.

Iranian judiciary authorities two weeks ago released Haleh Esfandyari, another Iranian-American accused of harming national security, on a bail at the equivalent of $333,000.

Esfandyari heads the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Washington think tank. She was barred from leaving the country and subjected to interrogation as she was leaving Iran after what was meant to be a brief trip to her native country over the Christmas holidays.

Three days later, authorities arrested Kian Tajbakhsh. Both were charged with undermining Iran’s national security.

Esfandyari and Tajbakhsh appeared on Iranian television this summer in a two-part documentary called “In the Name of Democracy,” which showed them confessing to taking part in a US-backed plot to spark a peaceful revolution against Iran’s leaders.

Esfandyari said she had helped create a network “to lead to very fundamental changes in Iran’s system.”

Tajbakhsh told the same program, “The aim of the Soros centre was to bring a model of the Western democracy” to Iran after an eventual conflict.

Iran has repeatedly protested that the United States has been seeking to spark a velvet revolution in Iran under the guise of initiatives to promote democracy.

Esfandyari was later allowed to leave Iran after she was released on bail on August 21.

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