Iran: Iranian National Sentenced to 10 Years for Spying for U.K.

LONDON (Reuters) -

Iran said on Monday it had sentenced an Iranian national to 10 years’ prison for spying for Britain, as tension rise between Tehran and some Western countries over its nuclear and missile program.

“An Iranian who was in charge of Iran desk in the British Council and was cooperating with Britain’s intelligence agency… was sentenced to 10 years in prison after clear confessions,” Gholamhossein Esmaili, a judiciary spokesman, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

Esmaili said the person who was sentenced was in charge of projects for “cultural infiltration” in Iran. He did not identify the person, and did not specify whether the person held British nationality.

The British Foreign Office did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. The British Council is Britain’s cultural agency overseas.

The arrest of Iranians accused of espionage has increased since Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last year there had been “infiltration” of Western agents in the country.