April 2, 2009

NIAC Welcomes Secretary of State’s Appeal for Missing Americans in Iran

Washington DC – “We ask Iran to use its facilities to determine the whereabouts and ensure the quick and safe return of Robert Levinson, and grant the release of Roxana Saberi, and permission to travel for Roxana Saberi and Esha Momeni,” said Secretary of State Clinton, reading from a letter to the Iranian delegation at Tuesday’s UN Conference on Afghanistan. “These acts would certainly constitute a humanitarian gesture by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The National Iranian American Council welcomed the letter and the effort to find Americans and Iranian Americans missing in Iran. “We are encouraged that Secretary Clinton is engaging Iran in a dialogue, and the Iranian-American community is thankful that she is working hard to secure the release of Roxana Saberi and Esha Momeni,” said Trita Parsi, President of NIAC.

Saberi is an Iranian-American journalist who was arrested on January 31, 2009 for allegedly purchasing a bottle of wine. Iranian officials later claimed that Saberi’s press credentials had expired. She has been detained on unspecified charges since then with no access to legal counsel.

Esha Momeni is an Iranian-American student who was detained last year in Iran while conducting research on the country’s women’s movement. She has since been released on bail, but she has not been allowed to leave the country.

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran, having been seen last on the island of Kish in March 2007.




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