Irans Refusal to Release Iranian Americans

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The situation before the US and Iran in early June 2007 seem ludicrous and petty when closely perused. The two countries have been at loggerheads ever since the US decided to place troops within Iraq as a preventive measure against insurgency allegedly fomented by the Iranian government, a move that has so far appeared to be unsuccessful.


It involved the detention of dual citizenship holders, Haleh Esfandiari, Kian Tajbakhsh, Ali Shakeri and Parnaz Azima. This paper will recount the issues involved in this detention and the charges levied against these four Iranian-Americans based on newspaper accounts. It will also detail the reaction of US President George Bush and the rebuttals of Iranian officials. The purpose of this investigation is to determine if the detention is actually an Iranian act of terrorism against the US.
According to news reports, the detention of the first of the Iranian-Americans occurred in May 8, 2007 when Haleh Esfandiari was incarcerated in Evin Prison, followed by the arrest of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh on May 11, 2007, who was also remanded to the same facility. Two other Iranian-Americans were also charged, after having been prevented from leaving Iran for an undisclosed period of time. Ali Shakeri, on his way to Europe, was detained on May 8 as well while Parnaz Azima was prevented from leaving Iran when authorities confiscated her passport in January 2007. A brief description of the four detainees follows.
"Haleh Esfandiari is the director for the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, in Wa ...
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