Tehran, Feb 6 (IANS): Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has pardoned "tens of thousands" of prisoners, including many linked to anti-government protests that broke out last September following the death of a young woman in custody, media reports said on Sunday.
However, the pardons, coming on the eve of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, will be conditional, the BBC reported, citing local media.
As per Iran's state media, Ayatollah Khamenei's decision came after a letter from the head of the judiciary termed many of those detained as young people who'd been led astray by foreign influence and propaganda, and that many protesters had expressed regret and asked for forgiveness.
Sadeq Rahimi, the deputy judiciary chief, said that those inmates who are qualified to be pardoned must pledge in writing that they regret what they have done otherwise, they will not be freed.
According to a report by the judiciary-affiliated news agency, Mizan, he said that "for the first time ever" defendants who have not received any final verdict will be also pardoned.
However, as per the local media, those charged with more serious offences - such as spying for foreign agents, murder, or destruction of state property - will not be pardoned.
The measure will also not extend to any dual nationals, the reports said.