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Iran says hands national 10 year jail term for spying for UK

Iran's religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a gathering with Iranian Air Force officers and the personnel in Tehran, Iran on February 8, 2019. [IRAN'S RELIGIOUS LEADER PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]

Iran said today that it had sentenced an Iranian national to ten years in prison for spying for Britain, Reuters reported.

“An Iranian who was in charge of Iran desk in the British Council and was cooperating with Britain’s intelligence agency… was sentenced to ten years in prison after clear confessions,” Gholamhossein Esmaili, a judiciary spokesman, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

Esmaili said the person who was sentenced was in charge of projects for “cultural infiltration” in Iran. He did not identify the person, and did not specify whether the person held British nationality.

The British Foreign Office did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. The British Council is Britain’s cultural agency overseas.

The arrest of Iranians accused of espionage has increased since Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last year there had been “infiltration” of Western agents in the country.

READ: France, UK, Germany want to keep Iran nuclear agreement ‘alive’ 

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