October 22, 2010 in City

In brief: Freed American returns to U.S.

 
Associated Press photo

Reza Taghavi reacts to applause from family and friends at Los Angeles International Airport.
(Full-size photo)

Los Angeles – A California businessman who spent more than two years in an Iranian prison after being accused of passing money to a rebel group returned home Thursday.

Reza Taghavi, 71, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport at about 7 p.m. with his attorney, former U.S. diplomat Pierre Prosper, who won Taghavi’s release after talks with Iranian envoys.

After clearing customs and meeting separately with his immediate family, Taghavi arrived at a terminal room where he was greeted by dozens of cheering friends and relatives.

Taghavi, a retired Orange County businessman who regularly visits his native Iran, was jailed on allegations that he passed $200 to someone suspected of links to a rebel group called Tondar. Taghavi was never charged and denies knowingly supporting the faction.

San Antonio – Texas health officials have shut down a processing plant linked to contaminated celery that sickened at least six people this year, four of whom died, and ordered the recall of all of the produce that passed through the plant since January.

SanGar Produce & Processing Co. issued the recall Wednesday after its plant in San Antonio was shuttered. The Texas Department of State Health Services traced six of 10 known cases of listeriosis in the state during an eight month period to celery processed there.

The agency recommends that customers throw out or return all SanGar products.


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