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Rights group says British-Iranian professor held in Tehran

AP  |  Dubai 

A British-Iranian who actively campaigns against military action targeting his homeland has been detained in by the country's hard-line Revolutionary Guard, says, becoming the latest dual national held there since the 2015 nuclear deal.

The said late Wednesday night it was "urgently seeking information" after the Center for Human Rights in said had been detained.

Iranian did not immediately report on Edalat's case, which isn't unusual in cases involving dual nationals. It's unclear what charges he faces, though typically those arrested by the face espionage or security-related charges and closed-door trials where guilty verdicts come down without the opportunity to defend themselves.

Edalat is a at The university did not respond to requests for comment.

Edalat traveled to for an academic workshop and was arrested April 15, according to the He refused to post bail Wednesday, arguing he is innocent of the unknown charges and should be freed, the center said. The also raided his home in

"Iran's continued arbitrary arrests of dual nationals without transparency and lack of due process is extremely concerning," Hadi Ghaemi, the center's executive director, said in a statement.

"The Iranian judiciary and the security establishment, particularly the Revolutionary Guard, are responsible for the well-being of these detainees."

Iran does not recognize dual nationalities, so detainees like Edalat cannot receive consular assistance. A U.N. panel in September described "an emerging pattern involving the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of dual nationals" in Iran, which denied.

Analysts and family members of dual nationals and others detained in Iran say hard-liners in the Islamic Republic's security agencies use the prisoners as in negotiations with the West. Iran and Britain have been discussing the possible release of some 400 million pounds held by since the 1979 Islamic Revolution for a tank purchase that never happened.

A prisoner exchange in January 2016 that freed and three other Iranian-Americans also saw the U.S. make a $400 million cash delivery to Iran the same day.

That money too from the shah's era, though some US politicians have criticized the delivery as a ransom payment. Others with ties to the West detained in Iran include Chinese-American graduate student Xiyue Wang, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly "infiltrating" the country while doing doctoral research on Iran's Qajar dynasty.

Iranian-Canadian national Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, a member of Iran's 2015 nuclear negotiating team, is believed to be serving a five-year sentence on espionage charges. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman, also is serving a five-year prison sentence for allegedly planning the "soft toppling" of while traveling with her young daughter.

Iranian and his 81-year-old father Baquer, a former who served as of Iran's oil-rich province under the U.S.-backed shah, are both serving 10-year sentences on espionage charges. Iranian-American and his Iranian wife, Afarin Neyssari, recently received 27-year and 16-year prison sentences respectively.

Iranian-American was released on bail last year after staging a hunger strike while serving an 18-year prison sentence for "collaboration with a hostile government." Shahini is believed to still be in Iran.

Also in an Iranian prison is Nizar Zakka, a U.S. permanent resident from who advocated for and has done work for the He was sentenced to 10 years last year on espionage-related charges.

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorized CIA mission, remains missing as well. Iran says that Levinson is not in the country and that it has no further information about him, though his family holds responsible for his disappearance.

Outside of the classroom, Edalat is an anti-war activist and founded the group founded a group called the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.

He previously wrote columns for newspaper in Britain, his last in December 2011 saying Britain only wanted to "tighten the diplomatic, economic and military noose around the Islamic Republic." "Unjustified sanctions only pave the road to a military attack on Iran," Edalat wrote. "The West must change course and enter into negotiations in good faith if a catastrophe for the region and the whole is to be avoided.

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

First Published: Thu, April 26 2018. 10:20 IST
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