Iran sentences British national to 10 years in prison on spying allegations

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Iran has sentenced a UK national to 10 years in prison on spying allegations, Independent reported.

Anoosheh Ashoori, a British-Iranian dual national, was accused of passing intelligence to Israel’s spy agency, according to Iran’s judiciary, which is dominated by hardline clerics and jurists.

Two others, including a UK resident, were reportedly sentenced on similar charges, as Iran continue its target on dual nationals.

“Anoosheh Ashoori had been connected to the Mossad and had relayed a lot of intelligence to that country,” judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Esmaeili told reporters during a weekly briefing, according to the Tasnim news agency.

“[Mr Ashoori] has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for spying and two years for illicitly acquiring money”, the spokesperson said.

“We have been supporting the family of a British-Iranian dual national since his detention and our embassy in Tehran continues to request consular access,” a spokesperson for UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), said.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, a judiciary spokesman, announced the sentencing

The latest sentencing comes after British Council worker Aras Amiri, an Iranian citizen with permanent residency in the UK, had a ten-year sentence for ‘cultural infiltration’ upheld by an Iran appeals court.

Judiciary spokesperson, Esmaeili, confirmed the conviction last week of Aras Amiri,34, an Iranian employee of the British Council and student of philosophy at London’s Kingston University, on allegations of spying for the UK. He has also announced the conviction of Ali Johari, also on charges of spying for Israel.

Ms Amiri, who rejected the charges in a letter to the judiciary chief, has been sentenced to jail for 10 years.

Aras Amiri, 34, an Iranian citizen with permanent residency in the UK, was arrested in March last year as she visited her sick grandmother in the capital Tehran

According to Independent, Iran has targeted numerous dual nationals, including British Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and French scholar Fariba Adelkhah.

Like Ms Amiri, they are often grabbed by shadowy elements within the security forces during visits home from the west.

“The treatment of all dual nationals detained in Iran is a priority and we raise their cases at the most senior levels”, a spokesperson for FCO said while urging Iran to release British nationals.

In July this year, Iran claimed it captured 17 spies working for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sentenced some to death.

Iran announced it has captured 17 alleged U.S spies, sentenced some to death

It was unclear whether Tuesday’s announcement was linked to the same case.

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