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Jason Rezaian Trial in Iran May Be More About Leverage Than Justice


On Oct. 16, 2010, Europe’s top foreign policy official proposed a date for resuming stalled nuclear talks with Iran. The same day, Iran said it had freed Reza Taghavi, an American business executive incarcerated without charge for more than two years.

Last November, Amir Hekmati, the longest-held American prisoner in Iran, was anticipating that an appellate court would review his case. When nuclear negotiators failed to reach an agreement that month and extended the talks, relatives said, his appeal was inexplicably delayed.

The timing of these events may just be coincidence. But with the espionage trial now underway in a closed Tehran court against Jason Rezaian — The Washington Post’s Iran correspondent, who has been imprisoned since July— speculation has intensified that the facts of the case, or lack of them, will have little bearing on the outcome.