A reporter with Greek and British nationality has been arrested in Iran as part of a crackdown on foreign media. The Washington Times reporter is Iason Athanasiadis-Fowden, who is also known as Jason Fowden. He attempted to leave the country and was arrested at the end of last week on suspicion of what Tehran described as “underground activities”.
Officials from the Greek Embassy in Tehran are providing consular help to Athanasiadis and working for his release.
Athanasiadis had been sent to Iran to cover the disputed election. In a statement on the Washington Times website, executive editor John Solomon said: “We have been trying diligently to ascertain Iason’s whereabouts. We understand that the Greek foreign ministry and the Greek ambassador in Tehran are diligently working to secure his swift release.
“We hope the situation will be resolved very soon.”
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana described the situation as “not something we can accept”.
Meanwhile the parents of Iason issued a statement asking the Iranian authorities to release their son, Polymnia Athanasiadi and Georgios Fowden said: “Iason is a dedicated reporter, photographer and filmmaker who grew up in Greece and regards himself as Greek.”
“Iason has always maintained his integrity as an independent journalist who sells articles, photographs and film to outlets in many parts of the world. His work serves no purpose other than the fair and humane coverage of life in the many countries where he has worked. He has a particular love of Iran, and a deep respect for its cultural and religious traditions.”
Athanasiadis’ personal website can be found at www.iason.ws