Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS

Poland confirmed Thursday that Iran has detained a Polish “recognized scientist,” Reuters reported.

The Warsaw government said it is working to secure his return, according to Reuters.

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“From the very beginning, the consular services are in constant contact with our citizen and his family, the detainee has been granted legal aid,” the Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.

“Consular and diplomatic actions are taken to enable our citizen to return to Poland as soon as possible. We are also coordinating our further steps with allied countries,” the statement said.

Iran had announced the arrest of Polish scientist Maciej Walczak as well as that of Giles Whittaker, a second-ranking diplomat at the British Embassy in Tehran, and the husband of Austria’s cultural attache in Iran. The UK, however, has denied that its diplomat had been detained, and Austria did the same.

Iran claimed the arrests came in response to alleged acts of spying, but did not say when they were arrested, nor whether they were still being detained.

“These spies were taking earth samples in Iran’s central desert where the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace missile exercises were conducted,” Iranian state TV claimed.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.