World Media

Iran Frees Detained Lebanese Businessman Zakka - Lebanese Official

Iran Frees Detained Lebanese Businessman Zakka - Lebanese Official

Nizar Zakka, the Lebanese IT professional detained in Iran, landed in Beirut on Tuesday, bringing an end to a near four-year ordeal.

Following his arrival to Beirut, Zakka said that he is not an agent and that he was arrested in Iran under false pretenses, in a joint press conference with the Lebanese Chief of General Security Abbas Ibrahim.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun had lobbied for Iran to grant him an amnesty, and officials in Tehran said his release was partly due to the country's close ties with Lebanon's Hezbollah movement.

Zakka, who also holds US residency and was sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison and a $4.2 million fine for "collaborating against the state".

Ibrahim was to escort Zakka to Lebanon Tuesday, the Reuters news agency reported.

Iran holds a number of dual nationals, including Iranian Americans, as well as Chinese-born USA citizen and Princeton scholar, Xiyue Wang.

On Monday, state TV said Zakka was to be released "only because of the respect and dignity" Iran has for the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Norway vs. Nigeria - Football Match Report
Meanwhile, Norway registered a 3-0 win over Nigeria in their opening match in Group A to go level on points with hosts France. Despite the big win, Norway occupy second spot in the group after France's 4-0 win over Korea Republic on Friday evening.

Shahindokht Molaverdi, an adviser to President Hassan Rouhani who as a vice president invited Zakka to Iran, told the AP in September that Iran's government had "failed" to help Zakka.

The Associated Press, citing a Lebanese official who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported that Zakka had been freed and was on a plane to Lebanon with Ibrahim.

The statement claimed that Zakka, who graduated from the Riverside Military Academy of Gainesville in Georgia, had "deep links" with United States military and intelligence agencies.

Zakka, a computer scientist and Internet freedom advocate, was detained in Tehran after attending a conference at the invitation of the Iranian government.

He was held in Evin Prison, notorious for holding political prisoners, dual-nationals and academics.

Zakka has been imprisoned in Iran since 2015.

A top Lebanese security official is in Tehran to secure Zakka's release, which has been anticipated. He was accused of being a spy and a year later sentenced to 10 years in prison and handed a $4.2 million fine.


  • Russian journalist Golunov released after drug case against him dropped

    Russian journalist Golunov released after drug case against him dropped

    But the evidence seemed so flimsy that even some staunchly pro-Kremlin television journalists rallied to Golunov's defence. Golunov, criticizing either the accusations against him or the harsh manner of his detention.
    Frozen 2 Trailer Reaction & Review

    Frozen 2 Trailer Reaction & Review

    Afraid of her snow-creating abilities in the first film, Elsa must now rely on them this time around in order to save the day. It also inspired a whole generation of little darlings to belt out the movie's signature song Let it Go non-stop.
    Priyanka Chopra Shares Throwback Pic And Emotional Note On Father's Death Anniversary

    Priyanka Chopra Shares Throwback Pic And Emotional Note On Father's Death Anniversary

    The fact that she'd been working in this business for as long as I have, we could relate on that. She recently explained: "I want to change the world a little bit".
  • Vote by House Democrats could take subpoena fight to federal court

    Vote by House Democrats could take subpoena fight to federal court

    But many Republicans have criticised the hearings, saying now that the Mueller report is out, it is time to move on. Following the testimony, Trump said " John Dean's been a loser for many years".
    Kathua rape and murder case: 3 convicts get life imprisonment

    Kathua rape and murder case: 3 convicts get life imprisonment

    The attackers - who included two police officers - will receive life imprisonment at minimum and may be handed death sentences. The Supreme Court had shifted the Kathua trial to Punjab after the girl's family and their lawyer complained of death threats.
    The Ferryman wins best play at the Tony Awards

    The Ferryman wins best play at the Tony Awards

    She blamed a lack of diversity on a "failure of imagination" from people who should know better. "Thank you, thank you so much". One of the night's most emotive speeches came from Hadestown's Rachel Chavkin , who won for best direction of a musical.
  • I was really good and pretty bad ! - Barty battles through to final

    I was really good and pretty bad ! - Barty battles through to final

    But Barty rejected the notion that these results made things easier for her, whilst praising the strength of her competition. Romanian third seed Halep, 27, misplaced 6-2 6-4 to the unseeded 17-yr-frail.
    Australia 1-2 Italy

    Australia 1-2 Italy

    Italy's triumph wasn't merited by the statistics; they were starved of possession and took just five shots to Australia's 17. Winger Chloe Logarzo might have doubled the lead with a pair of headers, while Hayley Raso had an close-range effort denied.
    G-20 finance officials: Trade risks intensifying | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    G-20 finance officials: Trade risks intensifying | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    "If China wants to come back to the table and negotiate on the basis that we were negotiating, we can get a great historic deal". The weakness has prompted central banks, most recently in Australia and India, to slash interest rates to fend off recession.
  • De Blasio is no one's choice for president in Iowa

    De Blasio is no one's choice for president in Iowa

    The policy focus is working. "And as we sort out who he's going to run against - will it be a socialist, or will it be Biden? ". Warren stands slightly ahead of Buttigieg with 15 percent of Iowa voters backing her over 14 percent with the IN mayor.
    Bengaluru: Renowned playwright, writer, actor Girish Karnad dies at 81

    Bengaluru: Renowned playwright, writer, actor Girish Karnad dies at 81

    Karnad was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he wrote his first play - the critically-acclaimed, Yayati in 1961. The funeral of the star was held in Bengaluru today and Close friends and family turned up to pay their last respects .
    Prince Louis couldn't have been cuter at his first royal appearance

    Prince Louis couldn't have been cuter at his first royal appearance

    But for royal fans concerned about the Tindalls snubbing the Queen , it turns out the monarch is not likely to be too bothered. However, she and Mike do attend the big important events, like family weddings and the Queen's 90th birthday.