Hard-line Iranian Parliament member Hamid Rasaei has been on a mission to connect the case of detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to the administration of President Hassan Rouhani. Rasaei has accused a figure within the administration of granting Rezaian high level access to sensitive institutions and called for the airing of an alleged confession by Rezaian on Iranian TV.
Rasaei, the deputy head of Iran’s Parliament’s Article 90 investigative committee, said, “The important question is who was supporting Jason Rezaian [and why] within the role of a Washington Post reporter he was able to inspect sensitive places of the country.” He added that while Rezaian published “half-positive” articles, “his prime motive for these inspections was not for reports to be published.” He did not go into detail about the accusations other than saying Rezaian’s motive was to bring about more pressure on various Iranian industries.
Rasaei, who is facing charges of “administration violations” brought against him by a body that operates under the Hassan Rouhani administration, also accused Rezaian of having connections to the Rouhani administration.
In a Feb. 14 parliament session, Rasaei called for an investigation into “which official from the president’s office has his footprints in the spying case of Jason Rezaian and his wife, that with a title of journalist, they had penetrated the highest institutions of the presidency.” He continued, “Explain which director in the president’s office gave access to this individual. With correspondence from which individual did Jason Rezaian pass through important security barriers?”