HOMA HOODFAR IS FREE!
An Iranian-Canadian academic recently released from more than three months of detention in Iran said on Thursday that "it's wonderful to be home".
Shortly after landing in Montreal on Thursday morning, and tightly clutching her niece's hand, Homa Hoodfar spoke briefly with the media and thanked Canadian and Omani officials, civil society groups, and academics who pushed for her release.
"It's been a bitter seven months and the detention has made me weak and tired," she said.
Ms Hoodfar is an anthropologist and professor at Concordia University in Montreal, and studies gender and sexuality in Islam.
The academic was one of several dual nationals being held in Iran for alleged "acts against national security'' and her family said she has been accused of "dabbling in feminism and security matters".
Ms Hoodfar, 65, suffers from a rare neurological disease and family said she was briefly hospitalised during her detention.
Iranian officials said earlier this week she was released on "humanitarian grounds".
It was only once she was on a plane to Oman, where she spent a few days recuperating before returning to Canada, did Ms Hoodfar say she truly believed she was free.
"In Iran, nothing is complete before it's complete," she said.
Image copyright AP. Image captionHoma Hoodfar arriving in Muscat airport, Oman
Image copyright AP. Canada, which cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2012, worked closely with officials from Oman, Italy and Switzerland to help secure her release.
Asked whether her detention would prevent her from pursuing her academic research, Ms Hoodfar said instead that "it has opened new avenues that maybe I would not have pursued before".
Ms Hoodfar travelled to Iran in February to visit family and conduct research. Before her planned return to Canada in March, she was briefly detained and released before being rearrested in June.
She has no plans to return to Iran.
"I think for a while I'm going to stay in Montreal," she said, laughing.
Three other dual nationals who were indicted alongside Ms Hoodfar in July remain in custody.
They are Iranian-British national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Lebanese-US permanent resident Nizar Zakka and Iranian-US national Siamak Namazi.
Image copyright AP. Homa Hoodfar gets a kiss from her nephew as she arrives at the airport
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker, has been jailed for five years on secret charges, her husband said last month.
Mr Zakka, an information and communication technology consultant was sentenced to 10 years on 19 September by a secret tribunal, his supporters say.
Iran does not recognise dual nationality, which prevents those detained from receiving consular assistance.