Iran says Nizar Zakka’s release not politically motivated

TEHRAN, Jun. 11 (MNA) – Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeeli said Tuesday that an Iranian court has agreed to conditional release of the Lebanese Nazir Zakka, noting that the decision is not politically motivated.

Zakka will be handed over to Lebanese officials in Tehran on Tuesday, Esmaeeli said at a press conference in Tehran.

Earlier it was announced that Zakka, himself, has requested for his conditional release, he said, adding that Lebanese President had also made requests on the case. Iran considered the request within the framework of the Constitution, added the official.

He went on to say that according to the law, the court can agree to conditional release of convicts who are sentenced to less than 10 years imprisonment if they serve at least one third of their confinement, show good behavior during this period and can prove that they will not commit crimes after release.

The prison has endorsed Zakka’s behavior and also, Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Hezbollah have assured that he will not commit any crime after the release, he noted.

"This is a totally judicial process without any political stances or [prisoner] exchange being considered," the spokesman highlighted.

Zakka, an information technology expert and a permanent US resident, was detained in Iran in 2015 and sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison and a $4.2 million fine for spying charges and “collaborating against the state.”

His release from prison follows a whole series of diplomatic contacts and arrangements between the Iranian and Lebanese authorities.

Lebanon’s General Directorate of General Security (GDGS) Abbas Ibrahim is in Tehran to personally follow up Zakka’s case. He told Reuters that he would return to Lebanon with Zakka.

MAH/IRN83348627

News Code 146310

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