British Iranian dual national held for spying finally returns to UK nine years after arrest

Oil consultant Kamal Foroughi was held for eight years over alleged spying charges

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (9040046a)
Campaigners for British-Iranian grandfather Kamal Foroughi protest outside the Iranian embassy in London, Britain, 05 September 2017. Campaigners protested on Foroughi's 78th birthday calling on Iran to release the jailed British grandfather. The 77-year-old oil and gas company consultant who was arrested in Tehran in 2011 is serving the seventh year of his prison sentence for for espionage and posessing alcohol.
Campaigners for Kamal Foroughi protest outside Iranian Embassy in London, United Kingdom - 05 Sep 2017
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Iranian dual national Kamal Foroughi has finally returned to the UK nine years after his arrest for allegedly spying.

Mr Foroughi, 80, was working as an oil and gas consultant in Iran when he was arrested and detained.

Despite being released in 2018, the grandfather was unable to leave the country until his Iranian passport was renewed.

His son Kamran said: “We’re all overjoyed that he’s with us and seems physically healthy, which feels such a relief given coronavirus worries.”

He had been held since 2011 for alleged espionage on behalf of the UK, allegations that were denied by the family.

"I am pleased and very relieved that Kamal Foroughi has been able to return to the UK and be reunited with his family," said Dominic Raab, Britain's foreign secretary.

"I pay tribute to Kamal and his family, who have been through a terrible ordeal, and now have the opportunity to rebuild their life together."

On Tuesday, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed his return in a statement.

Iran has recently temporarily released a number of prisoners due to the coronavirus outbreak.

They include, jailed British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who has been given four weeks temporary release.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained since April 2016 after a visit with her young daughter to visit her Iranian parents.

She was jailed for five years for unspecified espionage offences.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case has been put forward to the Iranian Prosecutor General for consideration for clemency, her father was told on Saturday.