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Iran Frees Dissident Ibrahim Yazdi

Ibrahim Yazdi in a June 2009 photo

Ibrahim Yazdi in a June 2009 photo

Iran's state-run news agency reports the release from prison of Ibrahim Yazdi, a longtime opposition figure who had been in Iran's government during the early years of the Islamic Republic.

IRNA also reported a one-sentence statement from Yazdi saying he is resigning as leader of the Freedom Movement of Iran, a banned opposition group that opposes Iran's clerical rule and seeks democratic change.

Iranian authorities detained Yazdi in 2009 during the wave of unrest which followed the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yazdi had been speaking out against what he saw as a rigged election.

The longtime opposition figure is about 80 years old. Politically active against Iran's former monarchy, he was a deputy prime minister in 1979 after the Islamic Revolution and later served as foreign minister. He was also a member of Iran's parliament for four years before falling from political favor and devoting his energies to the opposition Freedom Movement.