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Revolutionary Guards Arrest British-Iranian Academic

Revolutionary Guards Arrest British-Iranian Academic

Friday, 27 April, 2018 - 08:15
British-Iranian scientist and peace campaigner Abbas Edalat. Social media

Iranian media confirmed on Thursday that Abbas Edalat, a British-Iranian scientist and peace campaigner, has been detained for his alleged role in an "infiltration network" after the UK had said earlier it was "urgently seeking information" from Iran following reports of the academic's arrest.

Edalat was detained on April 15, according to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

CHRI said Edalat was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards and that he had refused to post bail on Wednesday, arguing that he was innocent and should be released unconditionally.

The group said Edalat's home in Tehran had been raided and his computer was confiscated, as well as CDs and notebooks.

"Recently, members of an infiltration network affiliated to Britain have been arrested," an unnamed source told the Fars news agency, according to Agence France Presse.

The Fars report named Edalat, a professor of computer science and mathematics at Imperial College in London. 

He founded the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran, which describes itself as "an independent campaign organization with the purpose of opposing sanctions, foreign state interference and military intervention in Iran".

"We are urgently seeking information from the Iranian authorities following reports of the arrest of a British-Iranian dual national," a UK Foreign Office spokeswoman said.

In the past years, many dual nationals have been arrested in Iran.

The most high-profile British case is that of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a Thomson Reuters Foundation employee who was arrested two years ago and is serving a five-year sentence for participating in anti-regime protests in 2009. She denies the charges.

Another Imperial College scientist, Kaveh Madani, was forced to leave Iran and quit his job as deputy head of the government's environment agency earlier this month following pressure from hardliners. 

He later said he had been placed under unauthorized surveillance from the moment he returned to Iran in September.

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