Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iran Considers Releasing Lebanese Detainee

U.S. -- Omar Zakka, son of Nizar Zakkaa, a U.S. permanent resident imprisoned in Iran over spying allegations, testifies before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 7, 2019

Iran is considering releasing a Lebanese resident of the United States who is serving a 10-year sentence on espionage charges following a request from Lebanese officials.

The semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday quoted Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili as saying that authorities were conducting a "special review" of the request by Nizar Zakka and "Lebanese political officials," without elaborating.

Zakka is a U.S. permanent resident from Lebanon who advocated for internet freedom and has done work for the U.S. government. He was arrested in September 2015.

The request could be part of a Lebanese effort to ease recent tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Lebanon's National News Agency reported that the head of general security left for Tehran to follow up on efforts to release Zakka.