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Iran jails its national for UK spying

IANS  |  Tehran 

has sentenced its national to 10 years in prison for spying for the UK, the reported on Monday.

said on state television that the unnamed individual was "in charge of the desk of the and confessed to co-operating with British intelligence".

The did not identify the person who was sentenced. But a London-based employee and art student, Aras Amiri, was held in in March 2018, the reported.

Amiri's cousin said in May 2018 that she had been accused of "acting against national security" - a charge that has been laid by Iranian authorities against a range of activists, journalists and a number of dual citizens and foreign nationals detained in recent years.

The UK is currently engaged in a protracted effort to free another woman, the dual British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, from prison in She was also accused of spying, a charge she has denied.

The -- the for cultural relations and educational opportunities -- said last year that it was aware that one of its staff had been detained in Iran while making a private family visit.

On Monday, its said: "We have seen reports that an Iranian national, claimed to be an employee of the British Council, has been sentenced. However, we have not been able to confirm that this is our colleague.

"Our colleague's and wellbeing remain our first concern as it has been throughout their detention. We are in close contact with the "

The British Council said that the employee detained last year was not head of "the Iran desk", but someone who "worked in the UK in a junior role to support and showcase the Iranian contemporary art scene to UK audiences".

The British Council said it does not have offices or representatives in Iran and it does not do any work in Iran.

"We are a non-political organisation committed to people-to-people engagement and our staff are not connected to any agency," Ciaran added.

The said: "The officials in are in touch with the to seek further information."



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 18:02 IST