Marzieh Hashemi

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Marzieh Hashemi
Marzieh Hashemi01 (1).jpg
Melanie Franklin

(1959-12-21) December 21, 1959 (age 60)
CitizenshipUnited States
Known forPress TV host

Marzieh Hashemi (Persian: مرضیه هاشمی‎; born Melanie Franklin, 21 December 1959) is an American-Iranian journalist and television presenter. She is a natural-born citizen of the United States and a naturalized citizen of Iran employed by the country's Press TV.

On January 15, 2019, Hashemi was arrested by the FBI while boarding a St. Louis flight to visit her children in Denver.[2] The cause for her arrest was initially unknown, but according to subsequent court documents she was being held as a material witness for a federal investigation.[3] Following testimony before a federal grand jury in Washington D.C., Hashemi was released on 23 January 2019.[4][5]

Personal background[edit]

Hashemi was born in New Orleans, United States.[6] She was born into a Christian African-American family.[7] She was a student in the field of broadcasting in 1979, when the Iranian revolution happened, as a result of which she converted to Islam and began her career in Islamic newspapers and magazines in U.S.

Since 2008, she has lived in Iran, where she is now a TV presenter, journalist, voice-over artist, and documentarian and the host of Press TV, Iran's English-language broadcasting network.[6][8]

She has said the main reason for her conversion was the Iranian revolution and the character of Ayatollah Khomeini.

When I was a student in America I witnessed that the Iranian students are so active and I was so interested in political activities then, I used to ask them about their activities and purposes, why you protest? And they used to talk about the cruelty of the overset king [sic] and Imam Khomeini to me, and this was the first step of me becoming Muslim. I was looking for the truth and I wasn't satisfied with my own religion, and I had no solution for the problem that the God has three parts of the Father, and the Son, and the holy Spirit, But [sic] still were one? I wasn't convinced with answers when I asked from different people, when this issue happened to be in university, I started to study not only about Islam but about different religions, and simultaneously comparing them in theory and ideology, from Marx [sic] Weber up to now, and thanks God, after I became Muslim.[8]

She changed her name to Marzieh Hashemi after conversion; Hashemi is her Muslim husband’s last name and she chose Marzieh, a title of Fatimah bint Muhammad, the daughter of an Islamic Prophet.[9]

Arrest in the United States[edit]

According to Iranian sources, on 13 January 2019, she travelled to the United States to visit her family, particularly her ill brother. Marzieh was arrested at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri and was being held in custody in Washington DC.[3][10] The cause for her arrest was initially unknown, but according to subsequent court documents she was being held as a material witness for a federal investigation but "has not been accused of any crime".[3] According to Reuters, a US government source told them that a grand jury was examining whether Press TV failed to register as a foreign agent which would be required if it is a propaganda outlet.[3] Following testimony before a federal grand jury in Washington D.C., Hashemi was released on 23 January 2019,[4][11] and returned to Iran on 30 January 2019.[12]

Iranian media claimed that, after 48 hours, she was allowed to make a call to inform her family. Press TV has said Hashemi was denied halal food, offered only pork to eat (which is forbidden under Islamic law), and she has only eaten a packet of crackers since her detainment. It was further alleged that her hijab was forcibly removed and that she is only able to wear a short-sleeved shirt, again contrary to the requirements of her Muslim faith.[10][13] Hashemi had criticized US discrimination against veiled Muslim women in the past.[14]

According to Adam Goldman of The New York Times, Hashemi is the "Individual A." cited in the unsealed indictment of Monica Witt, who is charged with espionage for Iran.[15]


  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the arrest of Marzieh Hashemi by America as a "political game". He believes that this move is an unacceptable political act that tramples on freedom of speech.[16][17][18]
  • Peyman Jebelli, the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)’s World Service, described the action a "blunder" and criticized her ill-treatment in US custody.[19]
  • The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) wrote the UN Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention with regard to Ms. Hashemi's imprisonment. IHRC condemned the journalist's arrest and "called for the widest media solidarity campaign" to help secure her release.[20]


After Marzieh Hashemi arrested in 13 January 2019 in the USA and held 11 days without charge in custody in Washington DC, protest be held in 24 cities in world on January 25, to demand the release of Marzieh Hashemi.[21]

Tehran Rallies to demand the release of Iran’s Press TV news anchor Marzieh Hashemi


On 24 January 2019, her family announced that "the US government has released Marzieh Hashemi without charge after 10 days of illegal detention."[22]


  • Ali- "his words are so intertwined with truth and beauty that when I read his Nahj al-Balagha, I feel a man beyond history is talking to me".[23]
  • Women Rights- "Basically in materialist countries, the main injustice is happening to women. They believe that in all areas you should look at a woman as a commodity and a woman is only a means to entertain men."[24]
  • Jews, Muslims, and the US media- "...[US media outlets] invite Muslims to the roundtables and try to control what they want to be covered. For instance, they invite 2 or 3 people of their side and one Muslim and they surround him not to let him speak and justify and then they do some things to show that they are free dislike other parts of the world, they know how to do it very well. America has changed since 9/11, in past, they tried to conceal that the Medias are under control of Jews, but today all the people know about it, Muslims or non-Muslims, people are getting aware, they are really getting awake." [25]
  • 9/11- "As a simple example, 9/11, and it's obvious for everyone that Zionists are behind it, and the American people are helpless in front of them." [26]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "American anchor for Iranian TV is arrested on visit to US". AP News. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d U.S.-born Iranian TV anchor's arrest confirmed by U.S. court, Reuters, 18 January 2019
  4. ^ a b Iranian Journalist Marzieh Hashemi Released By Officials After Grand Jury Appearances, NPR, 23 January 2019
  5. ^ Lartey, amilesLartey. "US releases American journalist working for Iranian state TV after uproar". theguardian. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Iranian Reporter Tells The Other Side Of The Story". 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  7. ^ Johnston, Chuck; Barnes, Taylor. "American journalist who works for Iranian TV arrested in US, state-run media says". cnn. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Marzieh Hashemi: Muslim , Christian & Jew no problem with each other, but it's the Medias that are trying to upraise some contrasts among them". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  9. ^ "With Ms. correspondent, from America to Iran". 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Iran says US illegally detained reporter". January 16, 2019. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  11. ^ ESCOBEDO, RICHARD. "U.S.-born journalist for Iranian network released from federal custody". cbsnews. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  12. ^ Iranian state TV anchor returns to Tehran after 10 days in US detention, The Guardian, 30 January 2019
  13. ^ "Iran claims U.S. holding Iranian state TV news anchor Marzieh Hashemi". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  14. ^ "روی دیگر چهره "زن" در آمریکا" [The other face of womanhood in the US]. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  15. ^ Goldman, Adam (13 February 2019), Spy Betrayed U.S. to Work for Iran, Charges Say, The New York Times
  16. ^ "Iranian state television anchor arrested after flying into the US". theguardian.
  17. ^ "Zarif condemns US imprisonment of Press TV anchor as 'political game'". press TV.
  18. ^ "FM Zarif Blasts US Imprisonment of Iran's TV Anchor Hashemi". tasnimnews.
  19. ^ "Press TV Chief Says Will Pursue Case of Jailed Marzieh Hashemi Legally". farsnews. Archived from the original on 2019-01-17.
  20. ^ "Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi jailed in US on unspecified charges". Press TV.
  21. ^ "Global Rallies Planned in 24 Cities to Demand Iran TV Anchor's Release". tasnimnews. Tasnim. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  22. ^ "PressTV-Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi released from US jail". Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Interesting memories of new Muslims about Imam Ali (A.S.)". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  24. ^ "The other side of "woman" in America". 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  25. ^ "SR. MARZIEH HASHEMI". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  26. ^ "SR. MARZIEH HASHEMI". Retrieved 29 June 2016.