Clinton: U.S. Backs Efforts to Free NEWSWEEK's Maziar Bahari

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Canadian officials today that the U.S. fully backs efforts to press Iran to release jailed NEWSWEEK journalist Maziar Bahari. The Canadian-based Canwest News Service reports that Clinton made the commitment during a private meeting Wednesday with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. The two met on the sidelines of a meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the White House. Clinton offered "full support" to Canada in calling on Iran to release Bahari, Cannon's office told Canwest. Bahari, an Iranian-born filmmaker and journalist with Canadian citizenship, was detained June 21 in Tehran while covering Iran's presidential election and the resulting protests for NEWSWEEK. Iranian authorities arrested him and dozens of other reporters and bloggers, accusing them of acting on behalf of Western governments to fuel dissent. This summer, Iranian state media reported Bahari had confessed. Yet Bahari has never been formally charged and has not been given access to a lawyer. Bahari's wife, Paola Gourley, who is seven months' pregnant with the couple's first child, has publicly urged Canadian and U.S. officials to press for her husband's release ahead of next week's United Nations summit in New York City, which Iranian officials are scheduled to attend, and before scheduled talks next month over Tehran's nuclear program.