Iran has released a Lebanese businessman who had been detained since 2015 on charges of spying for the United States.
Nizar Zakka, who also has U.S. residency, was released Tuesday and flown to Beirut, according to Iran's judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili.
Zakka was sentenced to 10 years in prison and hit with fine of more than $4 million "for collaborating against the state" of Iran.
Zakka also denied reports that his release was part of a wider deal but suggested that it had helped avert further escalation in the region. "The initiative, from beginning to end, was born in Lebanon. ... But I won't deny that this initiative had positive results on the region and appears to have stopped much of what might have happened,'' he told reporters.
When Zakka was arrested, Iranian state media said he was accused of "deep ties to the military and intelligence services of the United States. Iranian officials said Zakka's release was partly due to the country's close relations with Lebanon's Hezbollah group.
Source : VOA