On September 11th, 2015, Nizar Zakka received an invitation from the Iranian government. The Vice President of Women and Family Affairs of Iran, Shahindokht Molaverdi asked Nizar to travel to Iran to participate in a conference on entrepreneurship and employment at the Second International Conference & Exhibition on Women in Sustainable Development in Tehran. Nizar and four colleagues travelled to Tehran and participated in the conference, where he gave a presentation on “ICT for Women’s Empowerment.” It was Nizar’s fifth trip to Iran; he was always welcomed to the country as part of his work.
On September 18th, Nizar was scheduled to travel to Beirut, but never arrived. Unofficial reports indicated that he checked out of his hotel but was arrested while he was on his way to the airport.
On November 3rd, 2015 the Associated Press [EL1] reported that the Iranian state-sponsored television station aired a piece indicating that Nizar Zakka had been arrested, with false accusations of him being an American spy.
His family has requested consular assistance from both the Lebanese and US governments, however he has yet to be visited by representatives of either country.