British council worker Aras Amiri, 34, is sentenced to TEN YEARS in an Iranian prison after losing her last occupation for espionage
- Aras Amiri of the British Council, 34, is an Iranian citizen with permanent residence in the UK
- She was arrested and charged with espionage in March 2018 when she visited her sick grandmother in Tehran
- She was sentenced to ten years in prison and has just lost her last appeal
A British resident has been detained in Iran for ten years after losing her last appeal against espionage.
Aras Amiri, 34, an Iranian citizen with permanent residence in the UK, was arrested last March when she visited her sick grandmother in the capital, Tehran.
She was sentenced to ten years in prison in May after being charged with espionage for the British Council, for whom she worked to promote Iranian culture in Britain. Miss Amiri appealed the sentence in a letter to the Iranian judiciary.
But the Supreme Court ruled this weekend to maintain its conviction – for "cultural infiltration by British intelligence agencies on Iranian domestic affairs" – and its imprisonment.
Aras Amiri, 34, an Iranian citizen with permanent residence in the UK, was arrested last March when she visited her sick grandmother in the capital Tehran
Miss Amiri, a Kingston University student who lived in London for more than ten years, claimed in her letter that she was arrested for refusing to cooperate with Iranian intelligence officials who wanted her to spy for them in Britain.
She said: "I immediately rejected their offer for cooperation and said that I can only work in my own field and nothing else."
The Iranian office of the British Council – which promotes our cultural, scientific and educational interests abroad and promotes international cooperation – was closed by the authorities in 2009 in protest against the launch of the BBC Persian Service.
The Supreme Court confirmed the conviction of Mrs. Amiri and her ten years in prison
Miss Amiri is being held in Evin prison in the capital, where British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe also serves a sentence for alleged espionage.
The President of the British Council, Sir Ciarán Devane, responded to Miss Amiri's tenure with "dismay."
He told the London Evening Standard: "Based on reports, we want to express our deep disappointment and dismay at the fact that our colleague Aras Amiri has appealed against her ten-year sentence by the Iranian authorities.
"We remain extremely concerned about the safety and well-being of Aras and continue to refute the accusation against her."
Richard Ratcliffe, Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, said about her sentence: "It is outrageous.
The UK must step up and protect citizens. Nazanin and others are being held as negotiation chips. & # 39;
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised all Anglo-Iranian nationals to travel to Iran.
The arrest of Iranians accused of espionage has increased since Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last year that there had been "infiltration" of Western agents in the country.
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