Iran grants environmental activist Morad Tahbaz bail

Roxanne Tahbaz holds a photograph of her father, Morad Tahbaz, outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development OfficeImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Roxanne Tahbaz holds a photograph of her father, Morad Tahbaz, outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

A British-Iranian man held in Iran has been released on bail with an electronic bracelet.

Environmental activist Morad Tahbaz, 66, has been released from prison on furlough, his lawyer said, and has returned to his home in Tehran.

Mr Tahbaz was told he would be released as part of a deal that saw Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe finally return home.

But when Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was freed in March, Mr Tahbaz was released from prison for just 48 hours.

His daughter Roxanne, who lives in the UK, said she was glad he has been granted furlough “to allow him to receive the medical attention he urgently needs”.

Ms Tahbaz has urged the UK government to continue to fight for his “unconditional release”.

She said: “My father is a UK-born national and he should have been on the flight with Nazanin four months ago. Home is not in Iran, home is with his children.”

Mr Tahbaz was arrested in 2018 and accused of working as a spy by the Iranian government.

He was in Iran tracking endangered animals when he was arrested in a crackdown on environmental activists, along with a group of other conservationists.

Mr Tahbaz and his colleagues were given 10-year prison sentences on vague charges of spying for the US and undermining Iranian security.

The 66-year old, who has had cancer, was allowed out of jail for 48 hours when Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe flew home to the UK in March.

The Iranian authorities have prevented him from receiving medical care for several serious health conditions, says Amnesty International.

Mr Tabhaz’s wife, Vida, 64, travelled to Iran after he was detained and was placed under travel ban, meaning she has been unable to leave the country.

It is believed Mr Tabhaz’s release may have been complicated by the fact he also holds US citizenship.

An FCDO spokesperson said: “The Tahbaz family have confirmed Morad has been released from Evin prison on furlough and is at their home in Tehran.

“Morad is a tri-national and we continue to work closely with the United States to urge the Iranian authorities to permanently release him and allow his departure from Iran.”

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