Pressed by Hard-Liners, U.S.-Trained Environmentalist Quits Post in Iran

An American-educated Iranian expert on water quality who returned to Iran to take a cabinet-level job in the government of President Hassan Rouhani officially resigned in exile on Wednesday, a month after having left the country while under pressure from hard-liners.

In a letter posted on his Twitter account, the expert, Kaveh Madani, 36, who had been Iran’s No. 2 environment official, wrote that hard-liners had considered him an outsider and a threat. Members of the security forces had hacked into his computers, he said. He had been called in for questioning in January during the arrests of nearly a dozen people involved in environmental activism.

One of those arrested, Kavous Seyed Emami, a well-known professor and naturalist, died in Evin prison in February under suspicious…

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