Iran: An American in Custody

An American in Custody

The news was an eerie echo of the 1979-81 Iranian hostage crisis. The State , Department confirmed last week that Joe Pattis, 49, an American in Iran, had been arrested there on espionage charges. Pattis, an employee of Cosmos Engineers of Bethesda, Md., was reportedly working at Iran's state-run telecommunications center at Assadabad shortly before Iraqi jets bombed the facility; Iranian suspicion that Pattis was connected with the bombing apparently led to his arrest.

State Department officials said the Swiss government, which represents U.S. interests in Iran, had been denied the right to meet with Pattis. In Aiken, S.C., the engineer's...

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