Iran state TV: US resident held as spy to be released

Iran state TV: US resident held as spy to be released
FILE - In this July 18, 2017 file photo, Ziad Zakka, brother of Nizar Zakka who is imprisoned in Iran, shows a photo of his brother on his cellular telephone in Beirut, Lebanon. Iranian state television reported Monday, June 10, 2019, that Zakka, a Lebanese national and a U.S. permanent resident held for years in Tehran, "will be released in the coming hours." (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state television is reporting that a U.S. permanent resident held for years in Tehran “will be released in the coming hours.”

The report Monday on state TV’s website mirrored a report earlier carried by the semi-official Fars news agency about Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese advocate for internet freedom.

It said Zakka was to be released “only because of the respect and dignity” Iran has for the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

A top Lebanese security official is in Tehran to secure Zakka’s release, which has been anticipated in recent days.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard detained Zakka in 2015 after he attended a conference in Tehran on the invitation of one of the country’s vice presidents. He was convicted of spying and sentenced to 10 years in prison.