A Washington Post reporter, along with three other Americans, was detained Tuesday evening, July 22, in Iran, U.S. officials and the newspaper said Thursday.
The Washington Post reported that the Iran Correspondent Jason Rezaian, his wife Yeganeh Salehi, who works as an Iran correspondent for a United Arab Emirates newspaper, and two freelance photojournalists were held in the country. It is not yet known who detained them or for what reason.
“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,” the Washington Post’s Foreign Editor Douglas Jehl said in a statement.
The State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said U.S. officials were aware of the detention of three American citizens in Tehran.
“Our highest priority is the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad,” Harf said.
Hamid Babaei, a spokesman for the Iranian mission at the United Nations, said Iranian diplomats are investigating the matter, but she had no further information at the time.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a group of advocates for press freedom, called for the immediate release of the journalists and an explanation of the detention.
“We hold the Iranian government responsible for the safety of these four,” said Sherif Mansour, the group’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, the New York Times reported.
Since U.S. and Iran do not have diplomatic relations, the negotiation about releasing the four journalists will be complicated.
Photo: JASON REZAIAN VIA ZOEANN MURPHY/THE WASHINGTON POST
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