BEIRUT (Reuters) - The intelligence wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard arrested an Iranian-American dual national in late July on charges of plotting against national security and working with hostile governments, the news site of the Iranian judiciary said.
Mizan Online said on Wednesday the person was arrested in the province of Golestan.
At least half a dozen other dual-national Iranians, including at least three other Iranian-Americans, have been arrested on similar charges in the past year.
In Washington, State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing: “We’ve seen reports of detentions of U.S. citizens, and we continue to raise our concerns about that, continue to use all the means at our disposal to advocate for their release.” He said he could not provide details.
News of the latest arrest came on the same day that the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy committee met members of the intelligence wing of the Revolutionary Guards.
The meeting, titled “the infiltration project,” covered subjects including the potential of dual-national Iranians to be recruited as spies, Hussein Naqavi Husseini, the committee’s spokesman, said, according to the website of Iranian state TV.
“In this meeting it was brought up that dual-nationals are under the serious scrutiny of the enemies’ intelligence services and they are used in the infiltration project,” Husseini said.
He said that a member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, a dual national who he did not name, was under investigation.
The Iranian judiciary said on Sunday that a member of the nuclear team had been arrested and released on bail but did not confirm whether that individual is a dual-national.
Hamid Baidinejad, a member of the nuclear negotiating team, posted on Instagram a defense of fellow member Abdul Rasoul Durri Esfahani, who was criticized as a foreign agent by hardline websites, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
Baidinejad said in his post that Durri Esfahani has worked for Iran in international relations for more than two decades. “Insisting that he is a spy is an open insult to the intelligence and security services of Iran,” Baidinejad wrote.
Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish