[QODLink]
Middle East
Freed scholar leaves Iran
Iranian-American accused of conspiring against Tehran spent three months in jail.
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2007 03:09 GMT

Esfandiari is accused of creating a 'soft revolution' in Iran[Reuters/Woodrow Wilson Center]

An Iranian-American academic who spent three months in an Iranian jail has left the country and reunited with her family.
 
Haleh Esfandiari, 67, flew to Austria late on Sunday, one day after the authorities returned her passport.
 
"After a long and difficult ordeal, I am elated to be on my way back to my home and my family," Esfandiari said.
"These last eight months, that included 105 days in solitary confinement in Evin prison, have not been easy," a statement issued by her employer, the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, said.
 
"But I wish to put this episode behind me and to look to the future, not to the past."
Family and colleagues said they felt great relief at the end of the crisis that added to tensions between Iran and the US.
 
Esfandiari was released on bail in August, picked up her passport and flew from Iran to Austria, where her sister lives, said her daughter, Haleh Bakhash.
 

"After a long and difficult ordeal, I am elated to be on my way back to my home and my family"

Haleh Esfandiari

She was reunited with her husband and plans to spend about a week there before heading home to the US, Bakhash said.
Abdol Fattah Soltani, Esfandiari's lawyer, said she booked a flight immediately after getting her passport back on Sunday.
 
Esfandiari was prevented from leaving Iran since the authorities seized her passport in January and interrogated regularly. She was arrested and imprisoned in May until her 93-year-old mother posted bail using the deed to her Tehran apartment.
 
The Iranian intelligence ministry accused Esfandiari and the Wilson Centre of trying to set up networks of Iranians ultimately aimed at creating a "soft revolution'' in Iran, charges both her husband and the centre have denied.
 
Esfandiari is one of several Iranian-Americans who have been detained or are facing security-related charges in Iran.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.