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Iran Arrests a 'Spy' Who Helped Negotiate a Landmark Nuclear Deal

  • VOA News

FILE - Journalists gather in front of the Palais Coburg, the venue for Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, July 2, 2015.

FILE - Journalists gather in front of the Palais Coburg, the venue for Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, July 2, 2015.

Iran has arrested a member of a team that played a role in negotiating a milestone nuclear agreement with world powers.

According to IRNA, Iran's state media, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said Sunday that a "spy who had infiltrated the nuclear team" was released on bail after being held in jail for a few days.

The negotiator's identity was not disclosed but Ejei said he is still under investigation.

Last year Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from most global economic sanctions. The deal is opposed by many hardliners who view it as a concession to the United States.

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, awaits the start of a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second from right, after his return from Iran for international negotiations on nuclear policy in Vienna, Austria, June 30, 2015.

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, awaits the start of a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second from right, after his return from Iran for international negotiations on nuclear policy in Vienna, Austria, June 30, 2015.

On Wednesday, hard line news organizations reported Iranian officials apprehended dual Iranian-Canadian national Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani. He was a member of a team that negotiated the lifting sanctions against Iran under one of the primary negotiators of last year's nuclear pact.

In response to Wednesday's hard line media reports, Iran's state media quoted Ejei Sunday as saying, "The report is correct. He was released on bail. Yet, his charge is not proved."

Why Esfahani is being investigated is not clear. But people with dual nationalities have been more frequently targeted by Iranian security forces since the nuclear deal was reached last year.

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