Iran detaines University Lecturer Moore-Gilbert because of Israeli partner

Iranian officials arrested British-Australian university lecturer Kylie Moore-Gilbert after learning she was in connection with an Israeli, which fuelled baseless doubts that she was a spy, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday, citing various diplomatic and government sources.

The newspaper said that once Iran got out about her partner, officials moved to arrest Moore-Gilbert at Tehran airport in September 2018. The Cambridge-educated expert in Middle East politics was condemned to 10 years in prison for espionage, charges she has always denied.

Moore-Gilbert was announced on Thursday after giving two years in prison, as three Iranians who were working long decisions in Thailand for a failed 2012 bomb plot were rushed home.

On Thursday, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison repeatedly declined to confirm her account as part of a complex prisoner swap, but the Herald said Moore-Gilbert’s play had involved high-level negotiations with the Thai government.

Australian government sources, who asked not to be identified as they had not been allowed to handle the talks, told the paper it had taken longer than six months of sometimes-delicate proposals to put the deal together, and Foreign Minister Marise Payne had been necessary to the “quiet diplomacy” strategy and the addition of third-party governments in the talks.

While embracing Moore-Gilbert’s release, human rights groups raised businesses about what they said was Iran’s use of “hostage diplomacy”.

A combination of images from Iranian State TV IRIB shows Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, and, right, three unknown men – one of them in a wheelchair – draped in Iranian flags and being met by officials on their arrival in Iran.