A Washington Post journalist detained in Iran for more than six months will stand trial "soon," the Islamic Republic's official news agency reported.

"A fair and just approach by Iran's judiciary could only result in his immediate release."

Martin Baron, Washington Post executive editor

The report, published by the IRNA news agency on Wednesday, said Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, a senior judicial official, issued the statement but it did not say when the trial would start.

"Jason Rezaian will be tried soon,'' Esmaeili was quoted as saying.

Rezaian, his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and two photojournalists were detained on July 22 in Iran's capital, Tehran.

All were later released except Rezaian, who is a dual US-Iranian citizenship. Iran does not recognise dual citizenships.

Iranian officials have not announced the charges that Rezaian faces.

But they said that Rezaian will stand trial in Iran's Revolutionary Court, which mostly hears cases involving security offenses.

Esmaeili said Rezaian "is in touch with his family and allowed meeting."

 Officials said he has already met his mother twice when she travelled to Iran recently.

'Appalling and outrageous'

Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, called Rezaian's continued imprisonment "appalling and outrageous" in a statement to Associated Press news agency.

"We have yet to hear any accounting of any charges against Jason, who after six months in custody, has still not been provided access to a lawyer," Baron said.

"A fair and just approach by Iran's judiciary could only result in his immediate release."

In an interview with Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Sherif Mansour, representative of the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, also called on the Iranian government to release Rezaian "right away." 

"A lot of people are worried about his health, and him being held in solitary confinement for a long time," he said. "We are hoping that his case will be resolved right away. We think that the Iranian government should release him without condition."  

The US State Department has also raised the subject of Rezaian and other Americans jailed in Iran during talks with the government about a deal to curb Iran's nuclear capacity and ease international sanctions.

The US and its partners are hoping to clinch a deal with Iran that would set long-term limits on Iran's enrichment of uranium and other activity that could produce material for use in nuclear weapons.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies