Iran Demands ‘Immediate and Unconditional Release’ of State Reporter Detained by FBI

FBI, DHS, State Department, silent on matter

Journalists photograph and film a poster depicting U.S. born Iranian journalist Marzieh Hashemi
Journalists photograph and film a poster depicting U.S. born Iranian journalist Marzieh Hashemi / Getty Images

The Iranian government is demanding the "immediate and unconditional" release of a correspondent for its state-controlled press organ who was detained over the weekend by U.S. authorities.

Marzieh Hashemi, an American-born correspondent for Iran's state-controlled Press TV, was reportedly detained by federal authorities on Sunday upon landing St. Louis, Missouri.

The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and State Department all declined to comment Wednesday when contacted by the Washington Free Beacon for further information.

The mysterious circumstances concerning Hashemi's alleged detainment is roiling tensions between the Trump administration and hardline regime in Tehran, which has detained several American citizens in recent months on purported espionage charges.

Iran's Foreign Ministry lashed out at the United States over Hashemi's disappearance, calling for her "immediate and unconditional" release.

"We strongly condemn the illegal move of the U.S. government to arrest and inhumanely treat Mrs. Marzieh Hashemi (also known as Melanie Franklin)," the Iranian government said in a statement.

Iranian officials are claiming that U.S. authorities treating the reporter "inhumanely and condescendingly with no reason amounts to typical behavior of an apartheid regime against its non-white citizens," according to reports in Iran's state-controlled press.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran officially calls for Mrs. Hashemi to be entitled of her basic human rights," the statement read.

"It is a pity that she was not allowed to have any contact with outside worlds for two days, while she had traveled to the U.S. to pay a visit to her family," Iranian officials claimed.

Iranian officials took shots at President Donald Trump, chiding his treatment of the international and domestic press. Media outlets across the nation have lamented what they claim is the Trump administration's unfair treatment of the press.

"Unfortunately, the way the American government agents have treated her is a blatant violation of human and citizen rights and also infringes the basic rights for a Muslim woman," read the statement from Iran's foreign ministry. "These kinds of behaviors show that the American government holds no respect for the principles it abuses for censuring its critics."

"Unfortunately," the statement continued, "the U.S. has turned into a dangerous land for journalists."

Multiple requests for comment to the relevant agencies were declined.

The State Department referred a Free Beacon reporter to the Department of Homeland Security, which declined to provide information of the matter. A separate request for comment to the FBI also was declined.

"We do not have any comment," and FBI spokesperson told the Free Beacon, adding that no information about the alleged detainment has been released.