Iran to hand over U.S. resident accused of spying to Lebanon

Clay Curtis
June 13, 2019

The security agency also posted pictures of the Ibrahim-Zakka meeting on its Twitter account.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency, citing an unnamed source, earlier said Zakka would be handed to Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shi'ite group founded in 1982 by Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Iranian state television reported Monday, June 10, 2019, that Zakka, a Lebanese national and a USA permanent resident held for years in Tehran, "will be released in the coming hours".

Asked about the Fars report, Ibrahim said it had caused "confusion".

Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese-born internet freedom advocate, is one of a series of prisoners with either dual nationality or links to the West held in Iran.

Last week, Lebanon's Foreign Ministry said efforts to secure Zakka's release had been successful.

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Prakash-Mani said a global treaty on plastics and reduction targets from companies and governments was needed to tackle the issue. In 2016 some 100 million metric tonnes of plastic waste ended up in the natural world.

A picture released by the office of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressing the nation on the occasion the Iranian New Year on March 20, 2012. He was convicted of spying and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Zakka, who lived in Washington and held resident status in the US, was the leader of the Arab ICT Organization, or IJMA3, an industry consortium from 13 countries that advocates for information technology in the region. Iranian media said later that he had been detained by the Revolutionary Guards over its allegations that he had ties to US security services.

Mr Zakka was detained in Iran in 2015 after arriving in the country to speak at a government conference on the invitation of officials.

Neither the Lebanese government nor Mr Zakka's family have made any mention of Hezbollah's role in mediation and the photos with Maj Gen Ibrahim appear to contradict the Fars report.

Iran has received an amnesty request from Beirut for a Lebanese citizen who was detained in 2015 for "collaborating against the state" but has yet to make a decision on the case, an Iranian judiciary spokesman said on Sunday.

Shahindokht Molaverdi, an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who as a vice president invited Zakka to Iran, told the AP in September that Iran's government had "failed" to help Zakka.

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