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Member Of Iranian Nuclear Negotiations Team Sentenced On Spying Charges

Source: RFE/RL

A member of the Iranian team that negotiated a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of espionage, a semiofficial news agency reports. Iran's Tasnim news agency on October 4 did not provide the name of the sentenced man, but the only member of the negotiating team known to be facing criminal charges is Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, a dual Iranian-Canadian national.

Dorri Esfahani (file photo)

"The conviction of a member of the nuclear negotiation team who has been arrested before and released on bail has been confirmed in the Tehran provincial appeals court," the report said. "This person has been sentenced to five years in prison."

The Tasnim news agency is believed to be close to Iran's hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

A spokesman for the Canadian government said without elaborating that officials were "aware of media reports that a dual national has been sentenced in Iran."

News outlets in August 2016 reported the detention of Dorri Esfahani, who was involved in banking-related aspects of the negotiations on the July 2015 deal that put restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The reports said he had been arrested on suspicion of "selling the country's economic details to foreigners."

He was later granted bail, which is rare in Iran for those accused of serious crimes, and denied the allegations.

Iran does not recognize dual citizenship.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2017 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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