Published: Fri, April 27, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

British-Iranian scientist arrested for role in 'infiltration network'

British-Iranian scientist arrested for role in 'infiltration network'

The British Foreign Office said late Wednesday night it was "urgently seeking information" after the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran first reported Edalat had been detained.

IRGC-linked news agency Tasnim reported on Thursday April 26 that "members of a network of infiltrators have been arrested", Naming Abbas Edalat as one of them.

There are almost 30 dual nationals in jail in Iran - among them several dual British-Iranian nationals.

A founding member of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran, Edalat addressed a Stop the War Coalition meeting in London in 2011 where he condemned what he described as the "multi-pronged war campaign by the West" carried out against Iran since 1979, which he said was created to "overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran".

According to CHRI, around 30 dual nationals have been arrested in Iran since the 2015 nuclear deal. The Guard also raided his home in Tehran.

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Edalat, who lectured on computer sciences and mathematics at London's prestigious Imperial College, was politically active while negotiations on Iran's nuclear program were being conducted and actively campaigned against U.S. sanctions on Iran and the idea of a military intervention in the country.

According to CHRI, Edalat refused to post bail, arguing that he should be freed unconditionally because he has not committed any crimes.

In an article for the Guardian newspaper the same year, he described the western attitude to Iran as "hawkish" and urged the West to "change course and enter into negotiations in good faith".

A spokesperson for Imperial College London said: "Professor Abbas Edalat is a valued colleague who has worked for Imperial College London since 1989".

CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi has said that that the case against Edalat is part of Iranian hardliners' campaign against dual nationals, adding that "Iran's continued arbitrary arrests of dual nationals without transparency and lack of due process is extremely concerning".

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Prof Edalat was a founder of the "Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran", a group which regularly posts news articles critical of the U.S. and its allies.

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

His arrest follows the five-year jail sentence imposed on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 39, a British mother and charity worker, on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime.

"Unjustified sanctions only pave the road to a military attack on Iran", Edalat wrote.

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