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Iran Arrests Dual Citizen Who Served as Nuclear Negotiator

Iran has arrested a member of its nuclear negotiating team on espionage charges, the country’s judiciary spokesman said on Sunday.

Iranian media outlets identified the man as Abdul Rasoul Durri Esfahani, a dual citizen who participated in banking-related aspects of the negotiations that led to last year’s nuclear deal, The Guardian reported.

“(News of) the arrest of the infiltrating spy is true. Legal action has been instigated against him and he has been released on bail,” said judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie, according to the state-owned IRNA news agency. “But the charge against him has not been proven yet.”

Earlier this month, Iranian authorities arrested a dual citizen over his alleged ties to British intelligence. It isn’t clear if that individual is in fact Durri Esfahani, who some Iranian outlets identified as a dual Iranian-Canadian national. At the time, the Associated Press wrote that many analysts believe that Iran is “seeking concessions from the West in exchange for releasing” dual nationals.

Reuters reported in July 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.”

Last month, Iranian authorities arrested dual American-Iranian citizen Reza “Robin” Shahini, who was visiting his ailing mother. Other dual nationals currently detained in Iran include British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an employee of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, who was forcibly separated from her toddler daughter as they prepared to leave Tehran in April; Homa Hoodfar, a Canadian-Iranian scholar who was arrested earlier this year when she returned to Iran to see her family; American-Iranian businessman Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi; British-Iranian businessman Kamal Foroughi; and Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese national with U.S. permanent residency.

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