Iran has agreed to hand over a U.S. permanent resident imprisoned for years in Tehran to Lebanese officials, an Iranian judiciary official said Tuesday, providing the first official confirmation that Nizar Zakka would be sent back to his native Lebanon.
The comment by Gholamhossein Esmaili comes as a top Lebanese security official is in Tehran to secure Zakka’s release, which has been anticipated for days.
“A court has accepted the condition of freedom of Nizar Zakka and he will be handed over to Lebanese officials,” Esmaili said, according to the judiciary’s Mizan news agency.
There was no immediate comment from Lebanon.
Zakka, an internet freedom advocate, is one of a series of prisoners with either dual nationality or links to the West held in Iran. His potential release comes as tensions between Iran and the U.S. remain high after President Donald Trump withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.