Iran-DetainedAmerican 3rdLd-Writethru 09-18

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Detained reporter leaves

An Iranian-American reporter who was trapped in Iran for months on suspicion of trying to stir up a revolution was allowed to leave the country Tuesday and return to the United States.

Parnaz Azima was one of four Iranian-Americans charged with endangering national security, an accusation they denied.

The charges have added to tensions between the United States and Iran, already high over U.S. accusations that Iran was seeking to develop a nuclear weapons and is fueling violence in Iraq. Iran denies both claims.

But Iranian authorities appear to be aiming to defuse the crisis. Azima was the second U.S. citizen allowed to leave in recent weeks.


"The Iranian government probably thinks it has gotten enough mileage out of their detention," said Ray Takeyh, a specialist on Mideast policy at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations. He noted that other organizations inside Iran have shied away from political activities since the Americans were charged. "They made their point."

Azima "left Iran today and is on her way to the United States," Sania Winter, a spokeswoman Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty, told the Associated Press from Washington. She would not give further details.

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