- The Tower - http://www.thetower.org -

Rouhani Regime Arrests Washington Post Reporter

The Guardian reported today [1] that Iran arrested The Washington Post‘s Tehran correspondent, Jason Rezaian, his wife, and two other journalists this week.

Iranian judicial offficials confirmed on Friday that Jason Rezaian, who holds dual US and Iranian citizenship, had been detained and is under investigation. …

The US reporter and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who is also a journalist, are believed to have been arrested on Tuesday evening, but it was not clear if the authorities had a warrant or where they had been taken to.

Douglas Jehl, foreign editor of the Postreleased a statement [2] condemning the arrests:

We have received credible reports that Jason Rezaian of The Washington Post and his wife Yeganeh Salehi were detained on Tuesday evening in Tehran. We are deeply troubled by this news and are concerned for the welfare of Jason, Yeganeh and two others said to have been detained with them. As the Post’s correspondent in Tehran, Jason is an experienced, knowledgeable reporter who deserves protection and whose work merits respect.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran quoted a source [3] who said that following the raid, the couple’s home “looked like a scene from hell.” The group also quoted Rezaian’s mother, Mary, as saying, “From an early age Jason noticed how Iran was negatively portrayed in the US and world media. He became a journalist to help build bridges of understanding and to share Iran’s rich cultural heritage with the West. His work was not controversial, but an honest record of his encounters with the people and the soul of Iran.”

Rezaian, who began his stint as the post’s Tehran correspondent in 2012, most recently published an article last Friday [7]. The piece confirmed the four-month extension of negotiations between Iran and six world powers, quoting diplomats who asserted that negotiations had made “tangible progress” but “significant gaps on some core issues” remained. The article also detailed a short history of nuclear talks, including which issues garnered the most contention and how different world leaders view possible solutions.

Last year’s election of Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran was hailed as a harbinger of liberalization in the Islamic Republic. However, since Rouhani assumed office last August, executions have risen sharply [8], persecution of minorities has continued [9], women face intimidation [10], and freedom of the press has been under assault [11].

[Photo: Washington Post / YouTube [12] ]