Slovak premier seeks release of paragliders in Tehran

PRAGUE Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:33am EST

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during a news conference at the Slovak government building in Bratislava, October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during a news conference at the Slovak government building in Bratislava, October 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Radovan Stoklasa

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PRAGUE (Reuters) - Slovak Prime Minster Robert Fico has flown to Iran to negotiate the release of two Slovak paragliders, the government in Bratislava said on Thursday.

"The process includes talks with First Vice-President Eshag Jahangiri," the government said in a statement.

Eight Slovaks were detained in Iran in May on suspicion of taking photographs of restricted areas. Six were freed in September.

Slovak media had reported the group was detained near the central Iranian city of Isfahan, where there is a uranium conversion facility.

Iran has frequently leveled accusations of espionage against both foreign nationals and Iranians in recent years.

But it reached a breakthrough deal last month with six world powers on curbing its nuclear program in return for a limited easing of international sanctions.

That signaled a thaw in Iran's ties with the outside world, made possible by the election as president of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani. (Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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