Iranian Judiciary Confirms Nuclear Negotiator Imprisoned On Spying Charges

Iran's judiciary has confirmed that a dual-national member of the Iranian team that negotiated a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of espionage.

A spokesman for the judiciary said on October 8 that Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani was “among some who were accused of spying and providing information for foreigners and had links with two espionage services."

The spokesman, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie, did not identify Dorri Esfahani’s second nationality, but Iranian media have said that he has Iranian and Canadian citizenship.

Ejeie also said the verdict was “final” and that Esfahani “also has a financial corruption case for which a bail has been issued but no indictment has been issued yet."

The semiofficial Tasnim news agency reported on October 4 that a member of Iran's team of nuclear negotiators was jailed for five years for spying, without naming Esfahani or detailing the charges.

A spokesman for the Canadian government said without elaborating that officials were "aware of media reports that a dual national has been sentenced in Iran."

News outlets in August 2016 reported the detention of Esfahani, who was involved in banking-related aspects of the negotiations on the July 2015 deal that put restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The reports said he had been arrested on suspicion of "selling the country's economic details to foreigners."

He was later granted bail, which is rare in Iran for those accused of serious crimes, and denied the allegations.

Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, which means dual citizens cannot receive diplomatic protections, such as consular visits.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters