Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tajbakhsh and Esfandiari on Iranian TV

The two American-Iranian detainees have been shown on Iranian television for the first time after their arrest months ago.

BBC says the show, In the Name of Democracy, was an apparent attempt to implicate them in a plot to destabilise the government in Tehran. The programme alternated between their interviews and dramatic pictures of recent revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia to suggest there was a US-led plot to overthrow the Iranian government. However, the BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says they did not make anything like a confession. The academics talked mostly about academic conferences in the US, to which leading Iranians had been invited… Interviewed in comfortable surroundings, the two looked in relatively good health. Our correspondent says that more may emerge in the in the second episode of the documentary to be broadcast on Thursday. What is not clear, he adds, is whether this is a prelude to the academics being charged, or perhaps a way of preparing for negotiations or even their release. “



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