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A family photograph of Anoosheh Ashoori  and wife Sherry Izadi

British-Iranian Accused of Spying for Israel is Released After 5 Years

Anoosheh Ashoori, a British-Iranian who was held by Iran, accused of spying for Israel, was set free and flew out of the country last week after five years in prison.

Ashoori, 67, boarded a flight to Muscat along with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a UK charity worker who was detained in Iran for nearly six years on charges of subversion.

Their release came as the UK government settled a decades-old debt to Iran.

A retired civil engineer, Ashoori, was held at the Evin prison.

His daughter, Elika Ashoori posted a video message to Twitter in which she said she was “delighted” to announce that her father would be returning home.

“1,672 days ago our family’s foundations were rocked when our father and husband was unjustly detained and taken away from us,” she said. “Now, we can look forward to rebuilding those same foundations with our cornerstone back in place.”

Ashoori, who had lived for 20 years in the UK, was arrested in 2017 as he visited his elderly mother in Tehran. He had been sentenced to 12 years in prison for alleged ties to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, something long denied by his supporters and family.

Amnesty International has said that while in detention Ashoori was “subjected to torture, repeatedly interrogated without a lawyer present and forced to sign ‘confessions’ while sleep-deprived.”

The British government said a third detainee, Morad Tahbaz, who holds US, British, and Iranian citizenship was released from prison on furlough as part of the same deal. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you allow these people to rebuild their lives and connect with their families during this joyous time.”