WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department said Saturday that Secretary of State John Kerry will respond "as appropriate" to a letter from executives at 25 news organizations, including The Associated Press, asking him to press Iran to free jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.
The department is "working very hard to get our citizens back home and we call again on Iran to release them," spokesman John Kirby said.
Besides Rezaian, three other Iranian-Americans are known to be held by Iran. Separately, a former FBI agent disappeared in Iran in 2007 while working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence mission.
The letter said Iran should recognize that independent journalism is "a fundamental human right" and should release Rezaian.
The 39-year-old Rezaian was born in California and holds both U.S. and Iranian citizenships. He was convicted in closed proceedings last year after being charged with espionage and related allegations. The length of his sentence has not been disclosed publicly. The Post has denied the accusations against Rezaian.
Media organizations represented in the letter included the AP, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN.