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Published: Tue, September 27, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Canadian-Iranian professor freed in Iran

Canadian-Iranian professor freed in Iran

"We can only assume that her last 100 days have been extraordinarily hard for her", said sociology professor Marc Lafrance, adding that her release was symbolic in terms of academic freedoms.

The Iranian-Canadian anthropology professor was arrested while on a personal and research visit to Iran, her family said.

Homa Hoodfar, a retired professor at Concordia University in Montreal, was flown out of the country.

"She's very frail, she looks extremely thin ... and very worn", Mendell said of a report she received. They would try to keep her story alive in the media, write press releases and solicit and edit opinion pieces from academics around the world for publication.

Although she suffers from a neurological condition that causes muscle weakness, requests for a checkup from a specialist had been ignored, and it was unclear whether Hoodfar, who was being held in solitary confinement, was receiving her medication, her family said in the statement last week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that the Canadian government has been "actively" working for her release.

In his weekly briefing session on Monday, Ghasemi told reporters in Tehran that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Canadian counterpart Stéphane Dion met in NY on September 21 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. "They understand that cases like these impede more productive relations", he added.

Mrs Hoodfar's supporters had pressed diplomats to discuss her case during the recent United Nations General Assembly in NY. Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the meeting last Wednesday. Iran's prosecutor was quoted as saying she was "dabbling in feminism".

The government of Canada worked to secure Hoodfar's freedom for months, but refused to discuss the case in detail while it was active.

Homa Hoodfar, a dual national and professor at Canada's Concordia University, was released due to illness, announced the Iranian foreign ministry on Monday.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have arrested at least seven dual-nationality citizens or expatriates visiting the country over the past year.

After reaching a landmark nuclear deal with world powers in July a year ago, Iran is seeking to end its long isolation with the West. Analysts have suggested Iranian hard-liners hope to use them as bargaining chips with the West.

Canada shut its embassy in Iran and expelled all Iranian diplomats in Canada in 2012 after accusing Tehran of posing the biggest threat to global security, mainly over its nuclear programme and military assistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In the time since, world powers have reached a deal with Iran for it to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

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