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A university professor has been detained in Iran for insulting Sunni Muslims, Iranian media reported.

Zahedan’s Prosecutor Ali Movahedirad was quoted by domestic media as saying that a professor of Persian Literature at Azad University in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan was detained on May 25 over a video clip that he said was against "unity" in the country.

"Since the video clip had created differences among people in Sistan and Baluchistan, this person was arrested last night," Movahedirad told the judiciary affiliated Mizanonline news agency on May 26.

A video posted online where the professor was reportedly insulting Sunnis had led to anger and a protest by a group of students at Zahedan University.

Though the majority of Iranians are Shi'a, Sistan and Baluchistan is home to a big population of Iranian Baluchis and Sunni Muslims.

Zahedan, the provincial capital of Sistan and Baluchistan, has been the scene of occasional clashes between Iranian security forces and Baluch separatists.

With reporting by IRNA, Mizanonline, and AP
Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (file photo)

A detained British-Iranian aid worker jailed in Iran is to face a second trial on new security charges, the Tehran Revolutionary Court's head Musa Ghazanfarabadi was quoted as saying on May 26.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the parent company of Reuters, is serving a five-year jail sentence in Iran after being convicted of plotting against the government, a charge denied by her family and the foundation.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran visiting relatives when she was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 while travelling home with her daughter.

Ghazanfarabadi said the charge against Zaghari in the new case is security-related without providing more details.

"Zaghari is to present an attorney and then the court will convene," Ghazanfarabadi was quoted as saying by the hard-line Tasnim news agency.

Earlier this week, Zaghari-Ratcliffe's huband said his wife is facing a new charge.

Richard Ratcliffe said on May 21 that his wife learned of the new allegation of "spreading propaganda against the regime" at a hearing before a judge at Tehran's hard-line Revolutionary Court.

He said the judge told her to expect that "there will likely be another conviction and sentence" against her.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation said on May 21 that it totally rejected "the renewed accusations that Nazanin is guilty of spreading propaganda" and said it continued to assert her full innocence.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said he urged Iran to release detained dual nationals like Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a December visit to Tehran.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have arrested at least 30 dual nationals since 2015, mostly on spying charges, according to Reuters.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and Tasnim

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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