The IRGC said that Zakka was arrested on charges of espionage, sentenced to ten years in prison and fined $4.5 million.
Thankfully, Iran was recently forced to release Zakka after secret negotiations as international sanctions tightened on the Iranian Regime, but this arrest – effectively a hostage-taking – showed the Regime’s true terrorist colours to the world and only exacerbated the infighting among the regime’s ruling factions.
The Regime tried to cover up this negotiation by saying that Zakka was being released conditionally because he had served one-third of his sentence and was not likely to commit another ‘crime’.
On June 13, the regime’s judiciary spokesperson said: “Given that Nizar Zakka has shown good behaviour during his detention and by the request of Lebanese President and the Hezbollah, we are assured he won’t commit any crime after release; therefore, the court accepted his conditional release so he could be handed over to Lebanon’s representatives.”
The judiciary spokesperson said that Zakka wasn’t included on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s pardon list, but that this was due to the request of Lebanese President and Iran-backed Hezbollah.
Now, none of this indicated and bargaining and/or compromise, but it was suspicious to see the spokesperson of the regime’s Supreme Security Council come out of nowhere to deny any compromise.
He said: “No third country was involved in Zakka’s release and this was done only at the request of Lebanese President Michel Aoun and intermediation by Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.”
These secret negotiations were referenced in Zakka’s initial remarks after his release, where he was also open about the physical and mental torture he as subjected to in prison as the Regime tried to force him to confess. The Regime had told him not to reveal his torture, but he said he could not stay silent.
Mohammad Ali Montazeri, the regime’s Attorney General, said that the Regime would reveal their documents if Zakka repeats his allegations, but why not just release them now? And why not explain why Zakka was being released after four years if the espionage charge was real? Simply because the Regime, as always, is hiding something.