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Iran official says backs visits to U.S. detainees

world Updated: Feb 16, 2010 18:43 IST
Reuters
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A senior Iranian human rights official said on Tuesday he had recommended that three Americans detained in his country be allowed to receive family visits.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, said Swiss diplomats acting as intermediaries had pressed for relatives to visit the three hikers, charged with espionage after straying into Iran in July.

"We are working on that with the security people and judge. We have recommended that families should be able to see them. I hope it will be done," Larijani told a small group of reporters in Geneva a day after speaking to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Larijani also dismissed remarks on Monday by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who suggested that Iran was moving towards a "military dictatorship".

"I think that America is the great enemy of democracy in our region," he said.

"She is wrong on both counts, on Iran moving to a military dictatorship, which is very wrong. We expand and enrich our democracy in different respects."

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