Dubai (Reuters) – Iran has granted bail to British-Iranian environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, who has been convicted of security offences, his lawyer was quoted as saying by the semi-official ILNA news agency on Wednesday.
The report came a day after the European Union’s foreign policy chief said he had proposed a new draft text to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“Mr. Tahbaz was released on bail and with an electronic bracelet,” lawyer Hojjat Kermani was quoted as saying. Tahbaz also holds U.S. citizenship.
Tahbaz was arrested in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for “assembly and collusion against Iran’s national security” and working for the United States as a spy.
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners in recent years, mostly on espionage charges. Rights activists have accused Iran of using them as bargaining chips. Iran, which does not recognise dual nationality, denies taking prisoners to gain diplomatic leverage.
Tahbaz was briefly released on furlough in March when two dual nationals, including British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, were allowed to leave Iran.
After Tahbaz was returned to prison in March, a spokesman for Britain’s foreign ministry said it had been told by Iran that Tahbaz had been taken back to Evin prison to have an ankle bracelet fitted and that he would be allowed out in coming hours.