Iran detains 2 Europeans as EU nuclear talk envoy Enrique Morav visits
The Arabnews reported, citing the Associated Press, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said Wednesday (May 11) that it detained two Europeans as a European Union envoy visits the country over its stalled nuclear negotiations with world powers.
The announcement by the ministry, during the visit of EU envoy Enrique Mora, comes as Tehran already is threatening to execute an Iranian-Swedish researcher imprisoned since 2016, and as another Iranian national faces a life sentence there.
Iran long has faced allegations it uses its arrests as a bargaining chip with the West. Tehran denies that, though negotiations around its landmark 2015 nuclear deal saw Americans freed in a swap.
The ministry said in a statement that the two Europeans planned to turn routine demands by various social and professional groups into “chaos, social disorder and instability.” It did not identify the nationality of those held.
The statement said the two are “professional expert” agents that were hired by a European country’s intelligence apparatus. It said the ministry was pursuing them from “the moment of arrival” and that all their relations with the “illegal Council of Teachers League” were documented.
Iran rules out prisoner exchange with Sweden
Iran has been facing regular protests by teachers over salary disputes.
The report noted that Mora’s visit comes as the nuclear deal talks in Vienna have stalled. They have broken down apparently over an American designation of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard as a terror group.