Iran Says It's Arrested British Diplomat; U.K. Foreign Office Calls Report 'Completely False'




  • In Business
  • 2022-07-06 20:34:59Z
  • By National Review
 

Iranian authorities arrested several foreign nationals, including British deputy ambassador Giles Whitaker, according to a report from Iranian state television on Wednesday, although that's been disputed by the U.K.'s foreign office.

Whitaker and several other diplomats and academics were reportedly arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and charged with "spying" after they allegedly took "soil samples" from a "prohibited area" where Iran was carrying out missile exercises, according to The National reporter Joyce Karam.

Whitaker apologized and was expelled, according to Iranian sources.

The IRGC released video allegedly showing them near the site of the missile exercises, but the U.K.'s foreign office has said that "reports of the arrest of a British diplomat in Iran are completely false."

The spouse of Austria's cultural attaché and Maciej Walczak, a professor in Poland who was visiting Iran as a tourist, were also arrested, according to Karam. Other suspects arrested include Marcin Switoniak and Charzynski Przemysław, according to Iran International. Both Switoniak and Przemyslaw are professors of soil science at Nicolaus Copernicus University. 

The arrests come as nuclear talks between Iran and other world powers stall, and one week before President Joe Biden is set to visit the Middle East.

The U.S. withdrew from the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018 under President Donald Trump.

The U.S.'s special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, said on Tuesday that Iran made unreasonable demands in discussions held last week in Doha, Qatar.

"They have, including in Doha, added demands that I think anyone looking at this would be viewed as having nothing to do with the nuclear deal, things that they've wanted in the past," he said in an interview, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Malley also stated that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a bomb in the coming weeks.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the added demands show a "lack of seriousness" from the Iranians.

"To introduce anything that goes beyond the narrow confines of the JCPOA suggests a lack of seriousness, suggests a lack of commitment. And that, unfortunately, is what the team saw once again in Doha," Price said to reporters.

 

  • State Department Open to Lifting Sanctions on Iran to Restore Nuclear Deal

  • Trump Blasts Kerry's Behind-the-Scenes Work to Save Iran Deal

  • Obama: Iran-Deal Withdrawal a 'Serious Mistake'

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