Iran has sentenced an Iranian student to ten years in prison accusing her of spying for Britain.

Aras Amiri

A Judiciary spokesperson in Iran announced that a female Iranian student has been convicted of spying for Britain.

“The Iranian national was in charge of the Iran Desk of the British Council and was cooperating with Britain’s intelligence agency.” Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Monday.

Esmaili did not identify the person but British media reported Aras Amiri, a London-based British Council employee was arrested in 2018 during a family visit to Iran.

The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It works with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. The British Council Founded in 1934 and it is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

The British Council office in Tehran was closed in Iran in 2009. Since then it does not have offices in Iran and does not fund or conduct projects in Iran.

Aras Amiri, a 32-year-old graduate student at the United Kingdom’s Kensington College of Business was arrested in 2018. She works for the British Council but her travel to Iran was not part of her job duty and it was a family visit.

The Iranian judiciary spokesperson claimed that during the investigations Amiri confessed to passing information to British intelligence agents.

Mohsen Omrani, a relative of Amiri who is based in Canada has confirmed that she was first arrested in 2018 by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry officers. The security forces of this ministry interrogated Amiri a number of times, pressuring her into working for them and when she disagreed more charges were brought against her.

Iran has arrested a number of foreign and dual nationals over the last four decades. In a recent report from Javaid Rehman, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, Tehran’s ongoing detention of foreign and dual nationals has been identified as a problem.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian mother, was arrested three years ago when attempting to return from Iran to the UK after a family visit.

Nazanin has been accused of plotting against the Islamic Republic of Iran. She has denied all charges against her. Nazanin, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation was sentenced to five years imprisonment in 2016.