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Iranian Media Confirm Arrest Of British-Iranian Professor


Abbas Edalat

British-Iranian scientist and peace campaigner Abbas Edalat has been arrested in Iran for his alleged role in an "infiltration network," Iranian media confirmed on April 25.

An unnamed source quoted by the Fars news agency said, "Recently, members of an infiltration network affiliated to Britain have been arrested."

Fars is viewed as close to Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The Fars statement, which mentioned Edalat by name, confirmed earlier reports by a human rights group and friends of his family.

The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on April 25 first identified the detained man as Abbas Edalat, a professor of computer science and mathematics at Imperial College in London.

"Iran's continued arbitrary arrests of dual nationals without transparency and lack of due process is extremely concerning," said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI's executive director.

Edalat traveled to Iran from his home in London at an unknown date to attend an academic workshop, according to family friends and the rights group.

British authorities said they were "urgently seeking" information about Edalat's situation.

The British Foreign Office said in a statement that it was "urgently seeking information from the Iranian authorities following reports of the arrest of a British-Iranian dual national."

The CHRI described Edalat as the founder of the U.S.-based Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran, a group that opposes foreign intervention in Iran.

Iran's IRGC has arrested at least 30 dual nationals since 2015, mostly on spying charges, according to Reuters.

At least two other British-Iranian citizens are known to be held in Iran.

One unidentified British-Iranian man was sentenced in March to six years in prison on spying charges.

With reporting by The Wall Street Journal and Reuters
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