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Iran arrests a British-Iranian university professor on "security charges"

Iran has confirmed that a professor working at Imperial College London has been arrested for "security charges".

The British-Iranian academic Abbas Edalat was reportedly detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in mid-April, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), based in New York.

Today, Iran has confirmed his arrest for the first time.

The spokesman of the judiciary Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi told reporters in Tehran: "I confirm your arrest on security charges, but I can not give details," according to state radio IRIB .

] Semi-official news agency Fars reported on Thursday that Edalat was part of an "infiltration network affiliated with Britain" whose members had been detained.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told The Independent : "We are seeking urgent information from the Iranian authorities following reports of the arrest of a British-Iranian national double."

The Imperial College confirmed that Professor Edalat has been employed by the University since 1989 and said he is "concerned about his well-being".

The university issued a statement saying: "Professor Abbas Edalat is a valued colleague who has worked for Imperial College London since 1989.

" He is a professor of Information Technology and Mathematics and has made many important academic contributions to throughout his career.

"We are understandably concerned about your welfare after reports of your arrest in Iran and we are looking for additional information urgently. "

Professor Edalat is one of the founders of Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), a defense group that opposes foreign intervention in the Islamic Republic, according to CHRI.

The group said the scholar had traveled to Iran for academic purposes and added that he had confiscated notebooks, a computer and CDs after his arrest, citing an anonymous source.

Professor Edalat's family paid him bail earlier this month, according to CHRI, but the Revolutionary Court of the country's capital, Tehran, did not release him, citing problems with the documentation, adds a statement from the group.

The Revolutionary Guards have arrested at least 30 citizens with dual citizenship since 2015, mostly for alleged espionage.

According to ex-prisoners, current families and diplomats, in some cases dual detainees are being detained for use in the exchange of prisoners with Western countries.

Iran denies this.

At least three other persons of dual British-Iranian nationality are currently being held in Iran, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

The charity worker has been detained for more than two years in a prison in Tehran after being arrested at the airport in April 2016, after a vacation with her daughter Gabriella.

Boris Johnson faced widespread condemnation after mistakenly telling the deputies that Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalists when this was not the case, since she had actually been on vacation.

The Iranian media took the comments as an accidental confession that she was a spy, which led Johnson to be forced to apologize for the gaffe and to promise not to leave stone on stone to secure his release.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said his wife was being used as a "currency."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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