Middle East

Iran accuses dual national of spying for British intelligence

File photo showing Iranian woman walking past the entrance to the British embassy building in Tehran (21 August 2015) Image copyright AFP
Image caption The arrest is part of a crackdown on what officials have portrayed as "Western infiltration"

An Iranian-British national has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the British intelligence services, Iran's state news agency reports.

Irna quoted Tehran prosecutor general Abbas Jafari-Dowlatabadi as saying the suspect had "been active in the economic field, related to Iran".

He did not name the individual.

However, the UK Foreign Office said it was seeking information following the "reported detention of a dual Iranian-British national in Iran".

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have detained at least six other dual nationals since last year and accused them of security-related offences.

They include the British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested at Tehran's airport in April as she tried to return to the UK after a holiday with her two-year-old daughter, Gabriella.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe told the BBC on Monday that the allegation that she was involved in trying to overthrow the regime in Iran was "absurd".

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Media captionRichard Ratcliffe: "She's a loyal and proud Iranian"

Mr Jafari-Dowlatabadi announced last month that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe faced trial by a Revolutionary Court - a closed-door tribunal which handles security-related cases - along with US-Iranian businessman Siamak Namazi, Canadian-Iranian academic Homa Hoodfar and Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese permanent resident of the US.

Iran does not recognise dual nationality, which prevents relevant foreign diplomats gaining access to citizens being detained.

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