Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Iran to Britain: release envoy or face the consequences

Iran Urges Britain to Release Diplomat

TEHRAN (FNA) Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Alireza Sheikh-Attar has urged the British government to release former Iranian envoy Nosratollah Tajik.

"If Britain impedes Tajik's release, it should be ready to face the consequences," Sheikh-Attar warned on Monday regarding Tajik's medical condition.

He, however, expressed hope that Britain would free the 54 year-old Iranian diplomat who has been admitted to a hospital in London. Tajik is suffering from heart disease and angina, press tv reported.

The Iranian diplomat, arrested in November 2006, is accused of trying to purchase night vision goggles for Iran from US mediators.

According to British media reports, undercover FBI agents who were acting as international military equipment dealers offered to sell Tajik night vision goggles valued over £50,000 while secretly filming him.

In April 2007, a British judge ruled that Tajik should be sent to the US to face charges, which was later upheld by an appeal court.

Due to his ailment a British court had given former Iranian ambassador to Jordan Nosratollah Tajik time, until June 11, 2008.

Tajik's lawyers argue that the US agents acted illegally because they planned to incriminate him from the beginning. They say the US was pursuing him because of his religion, nationality, and politics.

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