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US-UK national moved back to Iranian prison, daughter says

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By Reuters

LONDON – An Iranian-American environmentalist who was recently released from an Iranian prison has been taken back to jail, one of his daughters told a news conference in London on Monday.

Britain said last week that Morad Tahbaz, who also holds British citizenship and whose family say he was born in Britain, had been released from prison on furlough on the same day aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori left Iran to return to Britain.

Britain’s foreign ministry said on Friday it had been told by Iran that Tahbaz, 66, had been taken back to Evin prison in order to fit an ankle bracelet. It said earlier on Monday that Tahbaz had since been released to a residential location.

“My father was removed from his cell in prison yesterday, but we’ve only just found out, before we started this afternoon, that he’s been returned to the prison,” his daughter Roxanne told a news conference at the British parliament, alongside Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Tahbaz was arrested in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for “assembly and collusion against Iran’s national security” and working for the United States as a spy.

“It’s been over four years now since my father was detained and my mother was put on a travel ban within Iran,” his daughter said.

“As you can imagine, my siblings and I are desperate to be reunited with our parents, and therefore I’m here today to ask the question of why my father is the only UK-born national who has been abandoned and left behind there.”