Monday, 27 May, 2019

Iran convicts national over "spying" for Britain

Iran jails British Council employee for a decade for 'spying' Iranian National spying for Britain gets 10-year sentence
Steven Clarke | 15 May, 2019, 20:57

An Iranian court on Monday sentenced a woman to 10 years in prison after convicting her of spying for the United Kingdom, according to Iran's ISNA news agency.

He said the convict, who was arrested by Iranian intelligence and security organizations, had been cooperating with the British espionage service and was tasked with designing, managing and planning cultural infiltration projects in Iran.

But a London-based British Council employee and art student, Aras Amiri, was held in Iran in March 2018, the BBC reported. The friend told Reuters that Amiri, 33, was resident in Britain but did not have British nationality.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has been separated from his daughter, Gabriella, who was with her mother when she was detained in Iran and has since remained in the country with her grandparents.

The UK is now engaged in a protracted effort to free another woman, the dual British-Iranian national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, from prison in Tehran.

The British Council is the UK's worldwide organisation working in arts and culture, English language, education and civil society.

Iran closed down the British Council's offices in Tehran in 2009.

Tiger Woods and girlfriend sued over wrongful death of barman at restaurant
So who will win the 2019 PGA Championship , and which long shots stun the golfing world? "This could be a hell of a championship". I think I've done a lot of the legwork and the hard work already, trying to find my game over the past year and a half.

Authorities in Iran have previously arrested local staff working for the British Embassy in Iran.

Esmaili said the woman had been in custody for nearly a year.

It was not immediately clear if Amiri was the woman sentenced Monday.

Monday's announcement prompted an immediate response from London, with the UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) saying it was "very concerned" by the Iranian move.

The British Council said a year ago that it was aware that one of its staff had been detained while making a private family visit, without identifying them as Ms Amiri.

Arrests of Iranians accused of espionage has increased since the Islamic Republic's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a year ago there had been "infiltration" by Western agents in the country.

Iranian authorities accused her of plotting against the government and handed her a five-year jail sentence.

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