The Iranian Foreign Ministry is accusing Al Jazeera journalist Homa (Dorothy) Parvaz of three visa violations.
Iranian media quote Ramin Mehmanparast, a ministry spokesman who commented on the journalist’s arrest and disappearance.
Parvaz, an Al-Jazeera reporter of Iranian descent, flew to Syria from Doha on April 29 and was detained at Damascus International Airport. Later, Syrian authorities announced that they had extradited Parvaz to Iran because she had tried to enter Syria with an expired Iranian passport. Parvaz’s presence in Iran has not officially confirmed but today Iranian authorities contended that she has committed three visa violations.
Mehmanparast told reporters today: "The first violation is that her passport was expired. The second, that she tried to enter Syria without the necessary press visa, and finally that she was carrying other passports: Canadian and American.”
Homa Parvaz has U.S. and Canadian citizenship in addition to her Iranian one and it is not clear how carrying other passport may considered a visa violation.
Noting that Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, Mehmanprast added: “These violations stopped this reporter from engaging in secret journalistic activities in Syria, and of course we are following up with the matter and as soon as we are informed of her situation, we will report to the public.”
Mehmanparast did not directly address whether Parvaz is in Iranian custody, even though Syria said on May 11 that Parvaz had been deported to Tehran.
Al Jazeera has expressed grave concern for Parvaz’s welfare and urged Iranian authorities to provide details of her situation.