Foreign diplomats arrested for spying in Iran
Among other things, the diplomats reportedly stole rocks and took photos in a prohibited area.
The Revolutionary Guards, Iran's ideological army, arrested foreign diplomats accused of “espionage”, Iran's Fars news agency and state television reported on Wednesday.
The Guardians intelligence service of the Revolution identified and arrested diplomats from foreign embassies who were spying in Iran, Fars agency explained.
One of them, a Briton, was expelled from the country after apologizing, she said.
According to British television x27;State, the British diplomat, referred to as Giles Whitaker, had been expelled from the forbidden zone where diplomats were arrested in central Iran.
The man in question allegedly engaged in intelligence operations in areas where military maneuvers were taking place with missile tests.
“[The British diplomat] is among those who traveled to the Shahdad desert […] as tourists. As the pictures show, this person was taking pictures […] in a prohibited area, where at the same time a military exercise was taking place.”
In London, the Foreign Office denied the arrest of one of its diplomats in Iran. The press reports […] are completely false, a spokesperson said.
Giles Whitaker has taken up his post as Deputy Ambassador of Britain in Tehran in 2018.
According to the Fars agency, the arrested diplomats notably took rock samples from the desert for espionage purposes.
State television additionally showed footage of another arrested man, introduced as Maciej Walczak, head of the microbiology department at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland. This university is linked to the Zionist regime, she claimed in reference to Israel.
Maciej Walczak, whose nationality is not specified, entered Iran with three other people for scientific exchanges, but he traveled to the desert region of Shahdad as a tourist when missile tests were taking place, the same source said. He was taking rock samples there.
Another arrested man is presented by television as Ronald, the husband of the embassy's cultural adviser ;Austria. He too is accused of taking rock samples from a village in the Damghan area east of Tehran and filming a military area in Tehran.
The television implicated Israel, a sworn enemy of Iran, in this affair. Apparently, Israel wants to open a file on the possible military dimension of the Iranian nuclear program, using third-country nationals who are linked to Western embassies.
Israel blames Iran to seek to acquire atomic weapons, which this country denies.
Last March, two Iranian-British Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, sentenced to prison on charges they have always denied, were released.
In parallel of this release, London had announced that it had settled with Tehran an old debt of 394 million pounds (612 million Canadian dollars), without establishing a link between the two cases.
More d& #x27;A dozen Westerners, mostly dual nationals, are currently being held in Iran, which is suspected of wanting to cash them in exchange for concessions from the West.
Des negotiations have been underway for more than a year between Tehran and the West to try to revive the international agreement on the Iranian nuclear program concluded in Vienna in 2015, with the key for the Islamic Republic a lifting of sanctions .
The unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the agreement in 2018 and the The imposition of severe economic sanctions had prompted Iran to renege on its own commitments. These threads have been blocked since March.