Khatami expressed "regret and concern" over Kazemi's death and called on the ministers of culture, intelligence, interior and justice to launch "a rapid and comprehensive investigation to clarify ambiguities" and "inform public opinion and myself."

 

"If a crime has been committed, we must act according to the

law," the president said.

 

After a long silence, Iranian newspapers published on Sunday an announcement of Kazemi’s death by the Iranian culture ministry.

Iran's director of foreign press, Mohammad Hoseyn Khoshvaqt, said Kazemi died on Friday night as a result of a brain stroke.

Her relatives say she was beaten into a coma by her interrogators, who arrested her on June 26 and accused her of being a spy.

Associated Press quoted a spokesman as saying she was detained while trying to photograph families of the arrested demonstrators outside Tehran's Evin prison.

The human rights group Reporters Without Frontiers had called on Thursday for a full investigation into the circumstances that led to Kazemi falling into a coma.

Kazemi, who also holds an Iranian passport, had been authorised to take pictures of the recent student protests for the British agency Camera Press, according to the Iranian news agency IRNA.