British-Iranian professor returns to United Kingdom after detention in Iran

Abbas Edalat

Abbas Edalat

A British-Iranian academic who was arrested and detained in Iran on security charges has returned to the United Kingdom, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

The UK foreign authorities confirmed that while Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is still in the Iranian jail, Abbas Edalat has returned to England.

Iranian security forces arrested Edalat in April on security charges after he was accused of being part of a British-affiliated, anti-Iran group that allegedly launched espionage operations and had contacts with leaders of mass anti-government protests in 2009, according to Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency.

Prof Abbas Edalat, who works at Imperial College London, was detained in Tehran in April. Edalat, ironically, had been a campaigner against USA sanctions against the Iranian regime, and his detention appeared to be based on a misunderstanding.

Mr Hunt used his Christmas message to highlight Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case and other people unjustly imprisoned.

Edalat's arrest and jailing was "a case of misinformation and misunderstanding by the Iranian security apparatus", CASMII said on its website.

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The British-Iranian charity worker is serving a five-year sentence for spying, which she denies.

Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt met her husband Richard Ratcliffe on December 21, to assure him about his wife's release.

A British-Iranian academic, who was arrested and detained in Iran on allegations of spying, was released last week.

Meanwhile, British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison in Iran since April 2016 and is accused of seeking to overthrow the Iranian regime.

The spokesman added that Iran did not recognise dual nationality, which made the case more hard.

Both sides formally say there is no connection between individual consular cases and wider diplomatic relations, but in reality there is a read across that neither side can avoid.

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