Reuters International

Former Iranian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi speaks at the National Press Club in Washington June 22, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing

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ROME (Reuters) - Mehdi Khosravi, an Iranian activist arrested last week in Italy, said on Friday he had been released from jail, following an appeal to the Italian government by the son of the deposed shah.

Reza Pahlavi, 55, whose late father was toppled by the 1979 Islamic Revolution, said in a letter to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday that Khosravi risked torture and execution if Italy extradited him as Tehran has demanded. Pahlavi posted the letter on his Twitter account..

Khosravi, 37, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica he had been let out of jail in Lecco, northern Italy, five days after police arrested him on an international warrant for alleged corruption.

"These are false and ridiculous accusations to which I will not even respond," said Khosravi, who says he fled Iran after getting in trouble with authorities for writing about "democracy, rights and freedom" on his blog.

Khosravi has lived as a political refugee in Britain since 2010. In his comments to the newspaper, asked why he was arrested in Italy, given that he had travelled freely in France, Germany and Spain.

The Italian interior ministry had no immediate comment.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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