Iran nuclear negotiation team member jailed for 'spying'

Iran nuclear negotiation team member jailed by Tehran court for 'spying'
2 min read
08 October, 2017
Fears that members of Iran's negotiating team with the West over its nuclear agreement are being targeted by the country's conservative judiciary heightened after former banker Dorri Esfahani was jailed.
Iran agreed a landmark nuclear agreement with world powers in 2016 [AFP]

A member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team has been handed a five-year prison sentence after being convicted of spying by an Iranian court.

Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani played a role in the landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers - including the US - to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief.

His fall from grace came after he and other suspects were accused by the Iranian regime of spying for foreign powers.

"Dorri Esfahani was among some who were accused of spying and providing information for foreigners and had links with two espionage services," Iran's judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie said, according to AFP.

"The court sentenced him to five years in prison and the verdict is final... He also has a financial corruption case for which a bail has been issued but no indictment has been issued yet."

Dorri Esfahani is said to have Canadian-Iranian or British Iranian citizenship, but as Iran does not recognised dual citizenships he is exempt from consular visits.

He has a background in the banking sector and was a member of the supervisory board that oversaw the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015.

However, conservative websites and members of parliament have repeatedly accused Dorri Esfahani of spying for the UK since mid-2016.

This was flatly denied by Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi in October 2016, but the case remained open.

The conservative-dominated judiciary has jailed a number of dual nationals and foreigners since the nuclear deal came into force with fears that better relations with the West would weaken their influence.