Al Jazeera is confirming this morning that Iran has released one of its correspondents, Dorothy Parvaz, who was first detained in Syria more than two weeks ago when she landed in Damascus to cover the anti-government protests in the country. Only yesterday, Iran said it was looking into reports that Syria had deported Parvaz to Tehran and added that the journalist, who holds Iranian, American and Canadian citizenship, had committed "several offenses" including traveling without a valid passport.
Parvaz's fiancé, Todd Barker, told The Canadian Press news agency that Parvaz called him "out of the blue" after 19 days of silence when she landed in Doha, Qatar (where Al Jazeera is based) and told him she'd been interrogated and held in solitary confinement in a Tehran prison but treated well. According to The Seattle Times, Parvaz's first words to Barker were, "I'm so sorry."
The New York Times points out while it's still unclear why Iran decided to release Parvaz, the country's state-run news agency announced today that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reached out to his Qatari counterpart, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, about establishing a closer relationship between the two countries. Parvaz is now discussing her detention with Al Jazeera and plans to visit her family in Vancouver later this week.
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