Iran frees two dual British nationals jailed for espionage

TEHRAN, Mar. 16 (MNA) – Some news sources reported that Nazanin Zaghari who had been sentenced to 5 years in prison on spying for the UK in Iran released, heading to airport to leave Iran.

The Guardian and Reuters reported a few minutes ago, quoting British officials, that Nazanin Zaghari had been released.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is heading to an airport to leave Iran with another detained Briton, Anousheh Ashouri, according to their lawyer.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe a dual Iranian and British national who is in jail for five years in Iran on espionage charges is likely to be exchanged with an Iranian prisoner.

According to the report, Zaghari was running a network of spies for the UK in Iran and her detention in early September 2016 could lead to the dismantling of a spying network comprising of several spies operating in Iran and other countries.

Nazanin Zaghari was in charge of MI6 and the British Foreign Office networking activities in Southwest Asia and North Africa, where she played an active role in spy networks under the cover of being a journalist and in forming velvet revolutions.

Ashoori, who previously lived in southeast London with his family, was detained in August 2017 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for cooperating with Israel’s spy agency Mossad and two years for obtaining 33,000 euros in “illicit funds” nearly a year later.

Britain also would pay $530 million (400 million pounds) to Iran to settle a debt related to an unfulfilled military contract that dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Britain has delayed the payment for many years citing problems faced because of foreign sanctions against Iran.

However, Tehran has insisted the debt should be settled regardless of issues that exist between Iran and the West.

The money is owed to Iran over an upfront payment made by the former Shah of Iran to Britain to buy 1,750 Chieftain tanks and other military vehicles. 

The UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has already confirmed that the £400 million that Britain owes Iran is a “legitimate debt” and that the UK government wants to pay it to Tehran.

MNA/

News Code 184937

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