Tehran has arrested a member of the IranDeal negotiating team barely a year after signing the agreement that lifted international sanctions and restored billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic coffers.
Iranian state media reported Sunday the unidentified negotiator is under investigation for being a “spy who infiltrated the nuclear team.” The suspect was allegedly held for several days but has since been released, according to the report.
Earlier this month, U.S. President Barack Obama announced with pride that Israel’s “military and security community” has realized he was right all along and now supports the deal with Iran. “The country that was most opposed to the deal,” he said in news conference on August 6, “acknowledges that this has been a game-changer.”
Not exactly. Nevertheless, by some standards it appeared that for diplomacy’s sake the Israeli response was still somewhat restrained.
The Iranian prosecutor general announced August 16 that a dual national linked to British intelligence had been arrested, but at the time did not link the arrest to the nuclear talks. At the same time, the UK said it was trying to find out more about the arrest of a dual national, Reuters reported.
On Sunday, Iranian judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei responded during a weekly briefing to a question by a reporter about a reference by an Iranian lawmaker to a member of the negotiating team with dual nationality, who was arrested on charges of espionage. He did not, however, confirm the suspect had British citizenship.
Earlier this month, nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri was executed by Iran “for revealing the country’s top secrets to the (U.S.) enemy,” Ejei was quoted as saying by the Mizan Online news site. The scientist’s body was returned to his home town with what appeared to be rope marks on his neck, according to his family, suggesting execution by hanging, media reported.Hana Levi Julian