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Tehran Confirms Arrest of Two Iranian Journalists

Iran has confirmed that authorities recently arrested two Iranian journalists on charges of spreading propaganda against the government.

An Iranian justice spokesman, Alireza Jamshidi said Wednesday that journalists Soheil Asefi and Farshad Ghorbanpour are under investigation for publishing what he calls "lies" and giving information to foreign news Web sites.

The media rights group Reporters Without Borders has called for the release of the two journalists. It said authorities arrested Ghorbanpour on July 31 and Asefi on August 4.

The Iranian spokesman says authorities are considering granting Ghorbanpour a lower bail after it was initially set at $160,000.

The Iranian official provided no information about a third journalist, Masood Bastani, who Reporters Without Borders said also was detained last month.

Reporters Without Borders says 11 journalists and cyber-dissidents are being held in Iran, which it describes as the region's biggest media prison.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.