Iran Arrests British Professor On Unknown Charges

Joseph Lafave Contributor
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Abbas Edalat, a British-Iranian citizen and professor, is being held captive by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Tehran, according to Gulf News.

Edalat traveled to Iran in order to attend an academic workshop but was arrested by Iranian authorities on April 15.

British officials first learned of Edalat’s imprisonment thanks to the work of the Center for Human Rights in Iran. They are currently attempting to gather more information, but due to Edalat’s dual-citizenship, which Iran does not recognize, they have been unsuccessful.

Edalat is a mathematician, computer scientist and professor at Imperial College London. He is also the founder of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran and frequently speaks out against military action against Iran.

Although Tehran has not released any details of Edalat’s imprisonment, some experts believe he is most likely being charged with “espionage or security-related charges,” which means he may not be given the chance to defend himself in court.

Iran has a history of detaining people with dual-citizenship under similar circumstances.

In 2014, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian was detained after Iranian security forces raided his house in Tehran. Rezaian was eventually charged with espionage and was sentenced to an undisclosed prison sentence. On January 16, 2016, officials announced that Rezaian would be released. On the same day, the United States delivered $400 million to the Iranian Government.

There is speculation that Iran may be using Edalat’s arrest as a means to extort a similar payment from the United Kingdom.