Mr. Zam’s personal story of how he ended up in Iranian detention within the first place stays murky. He left France on Oct. 11, according to the French foreign ministry. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards mentioned days later that Mr. Zam had been arrested in a fancy operation, based on Iranian information retailers. Mr. Zam’s spouse, Mahsa Razani, who continues to be residing in Paris with the couple’s little one, mentioned he had disappeared not lengthy after arriving in Baghdad from Paris.
Reza Moini, head of the Iran-Afghanistan desk at Reporters Without Borders, mentioned Mr. Zam was wanting for funds to create a tv channel and had been lured into a visit to Iraq to satisfy with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, an influential Shia cleric and Khamenei rival who may finance his media enterprise.
Mr. Zam had acquired numerous threats lately, Mr. Moini mentioned, and till he left France, he was below police safety.
“Ruhollah Zam was publishing damaging information for Mr. Khamenei’s entourage,” Mr. Moini mentioned. “He had been manipulated a few times by publishing erroneous information coming from the Revolutionary Guards, and he was desperately looking for funds.”
Iraqi intelligence sources mentioned that they had no details about his arrest and had not been concerned within the operation.
Mr. Zam’s trial started in February, with no protection lawyer, based on Reporters Without Borders. He was accused of spreading propaganda in opposition to the Iranian regime, cooperating with the United States and spying for the Israeli and French intelligence providers, amongst different expenses.
Iran has lengthy sought to silence opponents, each at residence and overseas. In January, the nation’s most well-known rapper, Amir Tataloo, was detained in Turkey and confronted deportation, however was in the end launched. In November, Masoud Molavi, an Iranian dissident who additionally ran a Telegram channel important of the management, was shot lifeless in Istanbul in an operation orchestrated by Iranian intelligence providers, based on Turkish officers cited by Reuters.