Al Jazeera is reporting that the Syrian government has deported one of its correspondents, Dorothy Parvaz, to Iran, nearly two weeks after Parvaz first went missing after landing in Damascus to cover the Syrian uprising. Syrian officials had previously told Al Jazeera that they were holding Parvaz in Damascus and that she would be released. The network is calling for more information from the Iranian authorities and for Parvaz's immediate release.
Why Iran? According to Al Jazeera, the Syrian embassy in Washington, D.C. issued a statement on Tuesday noting that Parvaz, who holds Iranian, American and Canadian citizenship, tried to enter Syria illegally with an expired Iranian visa and was therefore extradited to Iran. The embassy said that on May 1, Parvaz was "escorted by the Iranian consul to Caspian Airlines flight 7905 heading to Tehran." Iran's foreign minister apparently told Al Jazeera on May 2 that he didn't know where Parvaz was. Reports this week have suggested that Iran, a stalwart ally of Syria's, is helping Bashar al-Assad's regime crack down on protesters by supplying the Syrian government with technical equipment to interfere with activists' communications, security equipment like batons and riot police helmets, tear gas, and advice on how to control crowds and conduct house-by-house raids.