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Iran Says Will Hand Over Lebanese Man Convicted Of Spying


Nizar Zakka speaking at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2015.

Iran has agreed to hand over a Lebanese national imprisoned for years to Lebanon, an Iranian judiciary spokesman has confirmed.

"The court has agreed on the conditional release of Nizar Zakka and he will be handed over to Lebanese authorities," the judiciary's Mizan news agency quoted Gholamhossein Esmaili as saying on June 11.

The spokesman did not give details of the conditions of Zakka’s release.

On June 10, Iranian media reported that Zakka was to be released "only because of the respect and dignity" Iran has for Iran-backed Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Zakka is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Iran on charges of spying for the United States.

Zakka had been a Washington, D.C. resident and a U.S. Green Card holder.

The 52-year-old was head of an Arab IT organization that advocated for Internet development in the Middle East.

He was detained in September 2015 in Tehran after attending a government-organized conference.

Zakka was sentenced to 10 years in prison and handed a $4.2 million fine in 2016 after a court convicted him of espionage.

He denied the charges.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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