Iran State TV: U.S. Resident Held as Spy to Be Released

A top Lebanese security official is in Tehran to secure Nizar Zakka's release, which has been anticipated in recent days

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during his meeting with a group of University students in Tehran, May 22, 2019.
HANDOUT/Reuters

Iranian state television is reporting that a U.S. permanent resident held for years in Tehran "will be released in the coming hours."

The report Monday on state TV's website mirrored a report earlier carried by the semi-official Fars news agency about Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese advocate for internet freedom.

It said Zakka was to be released "only because of the respect and dignity" Iran has for the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

A top Lebanese security official is in Tehran to secure Zakka's release, which has been anticipated in recent days.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard detained Zakka in 2015 after he attended a conference in Tehran on the invitation of one of the country's vice presidents. He was convicted of spying and sentenced to 10 years in prison.