Iranian-American academic arrested

Published May 14, 2007

CAIRO - Iran confirmed Sunday that it has detained a prominent Iranian-American academic, and the hard-line newspaper Kayhan accused her of spying for the United States and Israel and trying to start a revolution inside Iran.

Haleh Esfandiari's arrest is part of a spate of recent crackdowns against Iranian activists.

Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, went to Iran to see her ailing mother last year.

She was prohibited from leaving for four months, then was sent Tuesday to Iran's notorious Evin prison after arriving at the Intelligence Ministry for questioning, the institute said.

Anti-U.S. rally: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led a raucous anti-American rally on Sunday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a tightly controlled U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, a day after a low-key visit by Vice President Dick Cheney aimed at countering Tehran's influence in the region. He told a cheering crowd at a soccer stadium that America was to blame for creating instability and robbing the region of its wealth. "We are telling you to leave the region, " he said.