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Iran Sentences Three To Long Prison Terms On Spying Charges


Iran says it has sentenced three people -- including a woman and a dual Iranian-British citizen -- to lengthy prison terms after convicting them of spying for Israel's Mossad intelligence agency.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told state television that Aras Amiri, a woman who had worked for the British Council while allegedly spying on cultural activities in Iran, was sentenced to 10 years. The British Council is a cultural organization.

One of the men, Ismaili said, is Anush Ashoori, a dual British-Iranian national. He was sentenced to 12 years for ties to Mossad, as was a second man, Ali Johari.

Iran does not recognize dual nationalities.

Johari allegedly passed on information about projects by a construction conglomerate, Khatam al-Anbia, which has ties with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Esmaili said Johari traveled to Israel and was in touch with Mossad in various countries including India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The sentencing comes amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran over a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, including Britain.

Another British-Iranian woman held in Tehran, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for allegedly planning the "soft toppling" of Iran's government while traveling with her young daughter.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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