RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
Iran says it has sentenced an unidentified British-Iranian national to six years in prison for spying.
Mizan, the official news agency of Iran's judiciary, said on March 11 that Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi had "referred to a six-year prison sentence for an agent of England's intelligence service."
It did not elaborate further on the case, or the person’s identity, but did quote the prosecutor as saying that the same British-Iranian citizen was also under investigation in a separate case related to a private bank, giving no further details.
Prior to the announcement, there had been no known case of a British-Iranian national being sentenced in Iran to six years in prison. Since Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, the access that foreign embassies have to their dual citizens held there is limited.
At least two British-Iranian citizens are known to be held in Iran.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the charitable Thomson Reuters Foundation, has been sentenced to five years for plotting the overthrow of the government.
Her employer and the British government say she was in Iran visiting relatives when she was arrested in April 2016.
Kamal Foroughi, a 78-year-old British-Iranian businessman, was arrested in 2011 and convicted of espionage and possessing alcohol.
Britain's Foreign Office says it has raised both cases with the Iranian authorities. In those cases, the families of those held deny the charges.
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have arrested at least 30 dual nationals since 2015, mostly on spying charges, according to Reuters.
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