Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have detained several foreign nationals, including Giles Whittaker, the UK’s deputy ambassador to Tehran, for “espionage” activities such as taking soil samples in restricted areas, it announced.Plow the agency Iranian news agency Fars and state television On Wednesday.
According to a military statement published by Fars, “one of those identified is the United Kingdom’s deputy ambassador” who “went to the Shadas desert in Kerman with his family and other tourists”. According to the news agency, “recorded footage shows him taking soil samples while the Revolutionary Guards were conducting a space force missile test.”
“Following the apology, Whittaker was expelled from the city he traveled to,” the Revolutionary Guards news agency reported, Press TV reported. Iranian media released footage of Whittaker collecting soil samples in the restricted area.
A British Foreign Office spokesman later said: “Reports that a British diplomat has been detained in Iran are completely false.”
Among those arrested was the husband of the cultural attaché of the Austrian embassy in Iran, who was said to have collected soil samples in Damkhan, Semnan province. It was also spotted and recorded in the military zone of the capital Tehran, as reported by the Islamic Republic’s news agency IRNA.
The third prisoner was Polish scientist Maciej Walczak, who “entered the country under a scientific exchange with the university, although he went to Kerman and Shadad as a tourist to collect samples of soil, water, rocks, salt, and mud during a missile test.”
According to IRNA, the man was identified as Maciej Walczak, and the head of the Department of Biotechnology at Copernicus University was named as “connected to the Zionist regime”.Refers to Israel.
This Thursday, the Polish Foreign Ministry confirmed that “a scientist of great reputation” has been detained in Iran.
Masoud Sedayeshi, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, said on Wednesday that the two French nationals were arrested in May and charged with “conspiracy against national security” without revealing their identities. He confirmed that various Iranians who cooperated with the suspects were under investigation, but did not provide further details.
In May, the French government condemned the arrests, justified by Tehran, because they allegedly organized actions that “create confusion, social disruption and disorder”. Iran’s Ministry of Information and National Security said the suspects “entered the country with the intention of abusing the petitions of some people” and “turned these ordinary demands into chaos”, with the aim of creating “a terrible wave of destruction”.
Human rights groups have accused the Islamic Republic of trying to extract concessions from other countries by arresting them for vague reasons related to national security. Tehran has always denied arresting people for political reasons.
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