Iran TV says a number of foreigners, a UK diplomat, detained for alleged spying

By Parisa Hafezi

DUBAI -Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have detained a number of foreigners, together with Britain’s second most senior envoy in Tehran, for alleged acts of spying akin to taking soil samples in restricted areas, state tv reported on Wednesday.

It didn’t elaborate on once they have been arrested or whether or not they have been nonetheless beneath arrest. Britain stated the stories have been “utterly false”.

“These spies have been taking earth samples in Iran’s central desert the place the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace missile workout routines have been carried out,” state TV stated.

Iranian state TV confirmed what it stated was footage of Giles Whitaker and his household in central Iran the place the British diplomat seemed to be taking floor samples. The TV stated it was close to an space {that a} missile take a look at was happening by the Guards.

“Whitaker was expelled from the town after apologising (the authorities),” the TV report stated.

Nevertheless, a spokesperson for Britain’s Overseas Workplace stated: “Reviews of the arrest of a British diplomat in Iran are utterly false.”

Samuel Heath, UK spokesperson to the USA, tweeted: “He (Whitaker) shouldn’t be even posted in Iran anymore!”

A kind of detained was recognized by state TV because the husband of Austria’s cultural attaché in Iran. Austrian officers weren’t instantly obtainable to touch upon the matter.

The TV additionally confirmed an image of a 3rd foreigner, recognized as Maciej Walczak, a college professor in Poland, whom it stated was visiting Iran as a vacationer.

The TV report ran footage allegedly displaying Walczak and three colleagues gathering earth samples in one other space after visiting Iran on a scientific alternate programme. It stated their pattern assortment additionally coincided with a missile take a look at in Iran’s southern Kerman province.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of twin nationals and foreigners in recent times, totally on espionage and security-related costs.

Rights teams have accused the Islamic Republic of attempting to win concessions from different international locations via arrests on safety costs which will have been trumped up. Tehran denies arresting individuals for political causes.

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