British-Iranian man freed from prison in Tehran is set to run the London Marathon

Anoosheh Ashoori, 68, is fundraising for two charities that helped him during his detention in Iran’s Evin prison

Anoosheh Ashoori and his son Aryan who will run in the London Marathon on Sunday. PA
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A man who was jailed for nearly five years in Iran on spying charges before being released along with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is set to run the London Marathon on Sunday.

Anoosheh Ashoori, 68, resolved to one day run the marathon while serving a minimum 10-year sentence in the Evin prison, in Tehran, on charges he denied and the UK government condemned.

Mr Ashoori, a dual British-Iranian citizen, will run the marathon with his son Aryan, 33, on Sunday, October 2, to raise money and awareness for Amnesty International and Hostage International.

Both charities supported him and his family while he was in jail.

"I am determined to cross the finish line, if my knees don't fail," he said in an interview with the BBC's Today programme.

He also said that he was dedicating the run to the people of Iran and "the 85 million prisoners in that country”.

Mr Ashoori was arrested in August 2017 while visiting his elderly mother in Tehran and was later convicted of spying for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, despite having lived in the UK for 20 years.

The retired civil engineer and Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, another dual British-Iranian citizen who was detained under espionage charges, were released and flown back to the UK in March.

His fundraising efforts come after dozens of people were killed and many more arrested as the Tehran government began a clampdown on protests in recent days.

The violence was sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in custody after being detained by Iranian morality police because her headscarf was allegedly too loose.

Updated: October 01, 2022, 5:04 PM