Tehran: Iranian media reported that the Revolutionary Guard had arrested several foreign diplomats on Thursday for the turmoil of spy sowing after two of the countries concerned denied their citizens were detained. ing. Poland confirmed that scientists were detained in Iran on Thursday, but Austria strongly rejected reports that one of the diplomats had been detained, reflecting Britain’s announcement late Wednesday.

This development is consistent with stagnant attempts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and heightened tensions between Tehran and the world powers over the recent increase in confirmed detention of Westerners in Iran. On Wednesday, Iran’s Fars News Agency and state television reported that the Revolutionary Guard Corps had arrested several foreign diplomats on unspecified days.

“Revolutionary Guard intelligence has identified and arrested a diplomat at a foreign embassy spying on Iran,” said Fars, a British diplomat nominated by state television as Deputy Chief of Mission Giles Whitaker. He added that he was subsequently banished.

London swiftly denied the deputy ambassador’s arrest, and on Thursday the British ambassador to Iran said the envoy had left the country last year. “These reports that our deputy ambassador is currently in custody are very interesting … he actually left Iran last December. At the end of his post,” said British Ambassador Simon Shercliff. Shercliff writes on Twitter. Iran’s state television has accused him of “intelligence” in the military area.

Paul was held for 10 months

A state television journalist said the diplomat was “among the people who went to the Shardad Desert as tourists with their families,” referring to a region of Kerman Province. The Shadad Desert, a rocky mountainous region with ancient ruins about 810 km (500 miles) southeast of Tehran, is a popular destination for foreigners.

Fars said the Britons had been banished from Iran, but state television said he had been banished only from the “region” where diplomats were arrested. Prior to Sharcliff’s comment, the British Foreign Ministry had categorically denied that the deputy ambassador had already been detained. Completely wrong. “

Vienna also denied media reports in Iran claiming that Ronald Gesir, known as the “spouse of the Austrian embassy’s cultural adviser,” was among those arrested. “On media coverage: all Tehran employees and their relatives were doing well and no one was arrested,” a Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman told AFP. However, Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina confirmed Thursday that “Polish citizens were deprived of their freedom in Iran in September 2021” and identified detainees only as “recognized scientists.” ..

“Consulates and diplomatic measures have been taken to allow our citizens to return to Poland as soon as possible,” added Jasina, although Warsaw was in contact “with the Allies” without providing details. He called for respect for family privacy. Iran’s state television aired an image of a man identified as “Maciej Walczak, Dean of the Faculty of Microbiology” at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland.

Tight nuclear negotiations

“The university is tied to a Zionist government,” referring to Israel, a great enemy who is categorically opposed to the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers in 2015, and sees it as a threat to security. “I entered Iran with three others in the context of scientific exchange, but while the missile test was taking place, he went to the desert area of ​​Shardad as a tourist,” Walzac said. It said he took rock and soil samples.

But Marcin Czyzniewski, a university spokesman who reports that Walczak is an expert in environmental microbiology, said it was an “old story.” “Iran has quoted three names, two of whom have returned to Toru for several months,” said Czyzniewski.

Tensions between Iran and Western nations have recently increased as negotiations in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have been stalled since March. The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018 under then President Donald Trump. President Donald Trump has imposed strict sanctions on Tehran, urging him to move away from many of Tehran’s agreed nuclear promises.

Qatar hosted indirect negotiations in Doha last week, aiming to get the Vienna process back on track, but those discussions broke up two days later without a breakthrough. More than 12 Westerners have been detained in Iran, including a French couple detained in May, and activists claim a hostage-taking policy aimed at drawing concessions from the West. .. – AFP

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