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U.S.-funded radio denies detained Iranian journalist worked for it

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - A U.S.-funded radio network denied Tuesday that an Iranian woman arrested in Tehran was employed by the station.

Iran 's hard-line Kayhan newspaper reported Tuesday that the detained woman, Camellia Entekhabifard, had worked for Radio Free Europe, a radio station that Iran considers hostile to its establishment.

"She has never worked for us and she was not supposed to report for us," an official at the Prague-based Radio Free Europe said by telephone.

The radio station often seeks current-events commentary from Iranian journalists on its Farsi-language broadcasts.

According to press reports, Entekhabifard was arrested on Wednesday, a few days after returning from the United States, where she had spent six months.

Kayhan, which was received in Dubai, said Entekhabifard was arrested because of "cooperation with an American media."

"During her six-month stay in the U.S., she worked with Radio Free Europe. Following the recent riots she was sent to Iran ," said the paper.

Iran is recovering from weeklong street violence and pro-democracy demonstrations held earlier this month, the worst unrest in the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed shah and installed the rule of Shiite Muslim clerics.

Entekhabifard used to work for Zan, a moderate newspaper that was banned in February.

Radio Free Europe began transmitting from Munich, Germany, in 1951, spreading news to Soviet-controlled countries behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War between the West and the Communist East.

It moved its headquarters to Prague in 1995 following the collapse of communism six years earlier.av-ti-sf


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