Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, director general of the Tehran Province Justice Department, told reporters that the “Washington Post journalist has been detained for some questions and after technical investigations, the judiciary will provide details on the issue,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
“Iranian security forces are vigilant towards all kind of enemies’ activities, the official added,” IRNA said without elaborating. The brief report did not mention The Post’s correspondent, Jason Rezaian, by name.
Rezaian, 38, a U.S.-Iranian dual national; his Iranian wife, Yeganeh Salehi; and two other U.S. citizens whose identities have not been disclosed appeared to have been detained this week in Tehran, U.S. officials and The Post said Thursday.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of annual “Quds Day” rallies, held to express solidarity with Palestinians and oppose Israeli control of Jerusalem, Esmaili shed no light on what prompted the arrests. He went on to denounce”the Zionist regime’s recent crimes in Gaza,” called for the trial of Israeli leaders in international courts and said that “the silence of certain international bodies and states towards Zionist crimes against Palestinians is shameful,” IRNA reported. It was unclear whether those grievances had anything to do with the arrests.
Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl said the newspaper received “credible reports” that Rezaian and Salehi were detained Tuesday evening. It was unclear who detained them.
“We are deeply troubled by this news and are concerned for the welfare of Jason, Yeganeh and two others said to have been detained with them,” Jehl said in a statement.
Jehl said that Rezaian, who has been The Post’s correspondent in Tehran since 2012, “is an experienced, knowledgeable reporter who deserves protection and whose work merits respect.”