Release of Khalil Dardmand some three months after his arrest comes after mediation efforts by Oman and Iraq.
An Iranian national who was arrested some three months ago by Saudi Arabian authorities during the Hajj pilgrimage has returned to Iran.
Local media confirmed on Wednesday the arrival of Khalil Dardmand on Monday via “the airway of a Persian Gulf neighbouring country”.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian had previously said his counterparts from Oman and Iraq mediated in efforts to release the Iranian citizen.
Dardmand was purportedly arrested after posting on his #Twitter account an image of slain Iranian General Qassem Soleimani beside the Kaaba, the building at the centre of the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca.
Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and architect of Iran’s regional security apparatus, was assassinated by the United States on January 3, 2020, in a drone strike in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.
Iranian local media said Dardmand on Wednesday met Abdul Fattah Nawab, the Iranian supreme leader’s representative in Hajj affairs, and Sadegh Hosseini, the head of the country’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, during which he said Saudi Arabian authorities tried to accuse him of “untrue charges”.
The pilgrim’s family earlier this week told state-affiliated media that they had not spoken to him or knew where he was imprisoned until shortly before his release was secured.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
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