September 23, 2013

Iran frees 80 prisoners as president heads to UN

By Nasser Karimi / The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran says it has freed 80 prisoners, including many arrested during the unrest after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

The mass release announced Monday is likely to provide a diplomatic boost for Iran's new president, Hasan Rouhani, at this week's U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The official IRNA news agency says Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei agreed to a request from the judiciary to release the opposition supporters and others jailed on security charges.

Last week, Iran released a dozen prominent political prisoners, including a human rights lawyer. The  main opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi remain under house arrest.

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