Iran: Court Finds Citizen Guilty Of Spying For Britain

French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Yves Le Drian stressed the importance of dialogue with Tehran

Iran said on Monday it had sentenced an Iranian woman to 10 years prison for spying for Britain, amid rising tension between the Islamic Republic and some Western countries over its nuclear and missile programmes.

According to Hossein, the woman - who has not been identified - confessed under interrogation to having been recruited by British intelligence.

Before her arrest, the 33-year-old Amiri had been living in London for 10 years - and had worked on cultural exchanges between Britain and Iran that included cooperation with Iran's Ministry of Culture. Her sentence has been widely criticized. Iran does not recognise dual nationality.

"We have not been able to confirm any further details at this stage and are urgently seeking further information", a British Foreign Office spokeswoman said. He said the suspect had been jailed in Iran for the past year while her case was under investigation.

The body has in the past refuted Iranian claims it had detained the "head of the Iran desk".

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Iranian authorities shut down the British Council's office in Tehran more than a decade ago for what Esmaili described as "illegal activities".

The arrest of Iranians accused of espionage has increased since Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said past year there had been "infiltration" of Western agents in the country.

"We are in close contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office".

The spokesperson said she was "an Iranian student who wanted to live and work in the UK", was hired by the British Council and "repeatedly travelled to Iran under aliases. and made connections with artistic and theatre groups". "We are dismayed by this reported sentence and are profoundly concerned for Aras' safety and wellbeing, which has been our absolute priority throughout her detention since early 2018".

"We are a non-political organisation committed to people-to-people engagement, and our staff are not connected to any espionage agency", Sir Ciarán added. Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year term for allegedly trying to topple the Iranian government - charges she denied.

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