British Council hails reports staffer acquitted in Iran

British Council hails reports staffer acquitted in Iran
2 min read
The British Council on Monday said it welcomed reports that Iran's Supreme Court had acquitted its staff member Aras Amiri, two years after Tehran jailed her for 10 years.
Tehran has not confirmed her acquittal (Getty)

The British Council on Monday said it welcomed reports that Iran's Supreme Court had acquitted its staff member Aras Amiri, two years after Tehran jailed her for 10 years.

The UK government has condemned the detention of several Iranians with dual UK nationality or based in the UK as hostage-taking aimed at pressuring the West.

The British Council, which promotes UK cultural and language relations overseas, said in a statement sent to AFP: "We are aware of and welcome the reports that Aras Amiri Larijani has been acquitted by the Supreme Court in Iran."

But it added: "We cannot comment further on the legal aspects of her case."

The chairman of the UK parliament's foreign affairs committee Tom Tugendhat on Monday retweeted a post citing the Persian-language Iranian arm of the US-government funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, as saying that Amiri has been acquitted.

Tehran has not confirmed her acquittal.

Amiri, a British resident, was detained in May 2018 while on a trip to visit relatives in Iran

In May 2019, she was jailed for 10 years on charges of "cultural infiltration", a sentence that then-prime minister Theresa May called "utterly shocking".

Amnesty International said last year that she had been temporarily released on "furlough" before being ordered back.

The British Council has not had staff or offices in Iran since 2009. The Iranian government in 2019 announced a ban on all collaboration with the organisation.