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Iran's president dodges question on detained Washington Post journalist at news conference

Mideast Iran-1.jpg

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. Rouhani called Western sanctions an "invasion" on Saturday after Washington imposed existing sanctions on more than 25 businesses, banks and individuals suspected of working to expand Iran's nuclear program, support terrorism and help Iran evade U.S. and international sanctions. Iran's state TV also said the move violated an interim agreement reached with world powers under which Western nations agreed to ease sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear activities. However, Friday's action did not constitute an expansion of the sanctions regime. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi) (The Associated Press)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has declined to answer a question about a detained Washington Post journalist.

In a news conference Saturday, a journalist asked a question that mentioned the detention of journalist Jason Rezaian. Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, a correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper The National, have been held for more than a month.

Instead of discussing Rezaian's detention, Rouhani said: "In our country, there is not a united viewpoint. There are different viewpoints. Institutes and organs have tasks that they carry some actions in their framework."

It wasn't clear if Rouhnai was responding to a part of the question that dealt with the impeachment of his science minister by parliament.

Iranian officials have not specifically said why Rezaian and his wife were detained.