DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran has sentenced a British-Iranian national to 10 years in jail for spying for Israel, state TV reported on Tuesday.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last year that Western agents had infiltrated the country, and its relations with major world powers deteriorated as Washington pulled out of the nuclear deal they signed with Tehran in 2015.
Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili named the jailed dual-national as Anousheh Ashouri. Ashouri was sentenced to 10 years for spying for Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, and two years for “acquiring illegitimate wealth,” Esmaili said.
It was not possible to contact Ashouri, and it was not immediately clear if the sentences were concurrent or consecutive.
A foreign ministry spokesman in London said Britain was supporting his family, “and our Embassy in Tehran continues to request consular access.”
“The treatment of all dual nationals detained in Iran is a priority and we raise their cases at the most senior levels,” the spokesman said. “We urge Iran to let them be reunited with their families.”
Iran, which said in July it had captured 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), refuses to recognise dual nationality.
Judiciary spokesman Esmaili also said the Supreme Court had upheld a 10-year prison sentence for spying against an Iranian woman, Aras Amiri, who worked for the British Council. Amiri, does not have British nationality.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; additional reporting by Andrew MacAskill in London; Editing by William Maclean and John Stonestreet)