July 27 (EUROPA PRESS) –
British-American citizen Morad Tahbaz has been released on bail with an electronic tracking device and has returned home to Tehran after being jailed for more than four years in Iran, his lawyer said.
“I am glad that I can be with my mother, who is also in Iran with a travel ban, and that this permit allows her to receive medical attention, which she urgently needs,” her daughter said in a statement on Twitter, asking the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to keep the promise of his release.
Tahbaz, who also has Iranian nationality, was released from prison in March, although he was banned from leaving the country, after authorities released British Iranians Nazanin Zaghari-Racliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, who returned to the UK.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 44, a Thomson Reuters Foundation contributor, was released on probation in March after serving five years in prison on charges of conspiracy and espionage. However, shortly after she was indicted on new charges of propaganda against the Islamic Republic for participating in a 2009 demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in London and making statements to the BBC’s Persian service.
For his part, businessman Anoosheh Ashouri was arrested in August 2017 when he traveled to the country to visit his mother and was sentenced in 2019 to twelve years in prison on charges of espionage for Israel and corruption.
All three were released. However, two days later, Tahbaz was imprisoned again in Evin prison, for which he began a hunger strike in protest, as his family confirmed at the time, which he described, in statements to the British television network BBC , its situation as “forgotten”.
“Morad is desperate. We are desperate and we don’t know what else to do,” said his relative. “For years we were led to believe that it would be part of the (liberation) agreement, but the agreement was reached, the money (from London’s historic debt to Tehran) was paid and it was not part of the agreement, it is still there,” he criticized. .
Specifically, he was referring to the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Ashoori, which took place after an agreement between Tehran and London for the payment of a historic debt of 400 million pounds (about 473 million euros) for the purchase of cars. Chieftain combat before the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that the United Kingdom never got to pay.
“This is very encouraging news, but we have been here before and now we need the UK to push hard for Morad’s full and unconditional release and permission for him to leave Iran together with his wife.” Director of the Individuals at Risk campaign of Amnesty International in the United Kingdom, Eilidh Macpherson, after knowing her freedom on bail.
Thus, he has pointed out, as reported by the newspaper ‘The Telegraph’, that “sustained pressure must be exerted on Tehran” to achieve its “permanent freedom”. “Morad should never have been jailed and it remains a matter of great concern that the Iranian authorities continue to arbitrarily hold British citizens in this way,” he added.
Tahbaz is a member of a local Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) group and were among a group of environmentalists who was arrested for using cameras to record protected species.
As the newspaper ‘The Guardian’ has recalled, in November 2019, the Iranian judiciary sentenced him to 10 years in prison for “contacts with the enemy government of the United States”.