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US-Iranian Academic Expects to be Released From Tehran Prison


An Iranian-American detained for months in Tehran's Evin prison says he expects to be freed soon and that he has not been formally charged.

Kian Tajbakhsh spoke Tuesday to reporters invited by Iranian authorities to visit the prison, notorious for the conditions in which mostly political prisoners are held.

Tajbakhsh described the conditions in the prison as "fine." He said he is being held in solitary confinement, but has access to television and a private bath.

A judicial official, Hassan Hadad, told Iran's student news agency, ISNA, that bail has been set for Tajbakhsh at about $100,000, and that he would be released soon.

Tajbakhsh, an urban planning consultant with the Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute, has been jailed since May, accused of spying.

Tajbakhsh was shown on Iran's state television in July on a videotape with fellow U.S.-Iranian detainee Haleh Esfandiari. Both allegedly confessed to participating in U.S efforts to topple Iran's clerical authorities.

Esfandiari is back in the United States following her release on bail earlier this month, after spending three months in Evin prison.

Iran also has released Parnaz Azima, a U.S. citizen and reporter for Radio Farda, which is a Persian language U.S. news service affiliated with Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty and Voice of America.

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

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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