Press Briefing---Iran and Haleh Esfandiari: An Update

May 31, 2007 // 11:30am12:30pm

WASHINGTON—-The Woodrow Wilson Center has just received reports indicating that Iran's Ministry of Intelligence has charged Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Center's Middle East Program, with espionage and "endangering national security through propaganda against the system." According to Iran's judiciary spokesman, Ali Reza Jamshidi, the Ministry of Intelligence is the "complainant" in the case. He said the case is "at the stage of preliminary investigation," but did not indicate whether the judiciary had decided that the case should go to trial. Two other Iranian-Americans, he stated, face similar charges.

Haleh Esfandiari has now been incarcerated in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for more than three weeks, after having been detained in Iran for over four months. She has committed no crimes. As Lee H. Hamilton, president and director of the Wilson Center has said, "Haleh is a scholar. The work she does at the Wilson Center is open, non-partisan, and includes a broad range of views. Her detention is an affront to the rule of law and common decency."

As part of its continuous efforts to bring attention to Dr. Esfandiari's unjustified arrest, the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a press briefing on Thursday, May 31, 2007. The briefing will include remarks from Lee H. Hamilton, president and director of the Wilson Center, and Shaul Bakhash, Haleh's husband and Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University. This event will be live webcast.

What: Press Briefing on Haleh Esfandiari

Who: Lee H. Hamilton—president and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center; Shaul
Bakhash—Haleh's husband and Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History at
George Mason University

When: Thursday, May 31, 2007, 11:30 a.m.

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th floor Flom Auditorium
The Woodrow Wilson Center is located in the Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

All media planning to attend should RSVP to Sharon McCarter at or (202) 691-4016. For information on how to assist current efforts to release Haleh, please visit

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