Iran has arrested an Iranian with dual citizenship over alleged ties to British intelligence, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi identified the detained individual as “active in the economic field, related to Iran,” but gave no further details to local media except that the arrest occurred last week.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a statement that they “are seeking information following the reported detention of a dual Iranian-British national in Iran,” but would not confirm whether the person arrested last week was British.
Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, and often deprives detainees of consular assistance. Details about the arrest of a dual citizen are usually only released weeks after the arrest, typically through media close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The detainees are tried by courts run by the IRGC and are often charged with trying to overthrow the government.
Reuters reported last month that the six dual nationals arrested in recent months comprised “the highest number of Iranians with dual-nationality detained at one time in recent years to have been acknowledged.”
Many analysts believe that Iran is “seeking concessions from the West in exchange for releasing them,” the AP wrote.
Last month, Iranian authorities arrested dual American-Iranian citizen Reza “Robin” Shahini, who was visiting his ailing mother. Other detainees include Parviz Tanavoli, a prominent Iranian-Canadian sculptor, who was barred from leaving Iran last month; Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an employee of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, who was forcibly separated from her toddler daughter as they prepared to leave Iran in April; Homa Hoodfar, a Canadian-Iranian scholar who was arrested earlier this year when she returned to Iran to see her family; Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi; British-Iranian businessman Kamal Foroughi; and Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese national with U.S. permanent residency.
[Photo: بزفوتو Iran / Flickr ]