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RFE/RL Welcomes Iran's Return of Passport to Reporter

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has welcomed Tehran's decision to allow an Iranian-American journalist to leave Iran after keeping her in the country for five months.

Authorities handed an Iranian passport back to Parnaz Azima Tuesday after confiscating the document when she arrived in Tehran in January.

Authorities accused Azima, who is also a U.S. citizen, of threatening Iran's national security and spreading propaganda.

Azima is a reporter for Radio Farda, a Persian-language U.S. news service affiliated with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America.

RFE/RFL President Jeffrey Gedmin says the station is pleased that Azima will soon be reunited with her children and colleagues on her return to the United States.

The chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a U.S. government agency that oversees RFE/RL and Voice of America, also welcomed Iran's move.

James Glassman says Azima "embodies the commitment" of Radio Farda and all U.S. international broadcasters to deliver "fair and impartial" reports to audiences "denied access to such journalism."

Iranian officials say another Iranian-American, academic Kian Tajbakhsh, will be released on bail when an investigation into his alleged spying activities is complete. Tajbakhsh has been jailed in Tehran's Evin prison since May.

Iran is still detaining Iranian-American Ali Shakeri, who works for a university conflict-resolution group.