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Rafsanjani’s daughter released from prison
March 20, 2013
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TEHRAN: The daughter of Iran’s former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was released Tuesday after serving a six-month sentence on charges of propaganda against the regime, her lawyer told the ISNA news agency.

Lawyer Sohrab Soleimani said Faezeh Hashemi, who was arrested in late September and taken to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, was released in the early hours of Tuesday, ISNA reported.

Hashemi was among thousands arrested for taking part in protests that erupted after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was given a second term in a 2009 election amid claims by the opposition that the vote was rigged.

Tried on charges of making anti-regime propaganda, she was found guilty in 2011 but her sentence was implemented a year later.

Mehdi Hashemi, Faezeh’s brother, has also been targeted by judicial action on charges of undermining national security during the 2009 protests.

His case is still ongoing.

Her father, Rafsanjani, is an influential cleric who served as president from 1989 to 1997 and who is seen as a moderate voice isolated by hardliners in Iran’s regime.

Ahmadinejad, who beat Rafsanjani to grab the presidency in 2005, is to step down this year, having served his maximum two terms.

Iran’s presidential election to choose his successor is to be held on June 14.

Separately, world powers gave Iran fresh details on a proposed deal aimed at ending international concern over Tehran’s nuclear programme during talks in Istanbul, the European Union said on Tuesday.

At the talks on Monday, experts from the five permanent UN Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the US — plus Germany “had technical discussions with Iran,” said a brief statement from a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Monday’s technical exchange will be followed by political talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on April 5 and 6, said Michael Mann, the spokesman for Ashton, who heads the talks between the six powers and Iran.

The EU statement said the Istanbul talks also provided an opportunity for experts from both sides “to explore each other’s positions on a number of technical subjects.”

On Monday, US President Barack Obama urged Iran to take “immediate and meaningful steps” to move “toward an enduring, long-term settlement” with the world over its disputed nuclear programme.

Obama said that if Tehran took such action “the Iranian people will begin to see the benefits of greater trade and ties with other nations, including the United States.”

Agence France-Presse

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