A member of Iran’s team of nuclear negotiators that struck the 2015 deal with world powers has been sentenced to five years in prison on espionage charges, a semi-official news agency reported on Wednesday.While unnamed in the report, the only negotiator known to be facing criminal charges is dual Iranian-Canadian national Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani.Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories FREE SIGN UPHis detention, if confirmed, would make him the latest dual national to be arrested in Iran, part of what a United Nations panel of experts has called an “emerging pattern” since the atomic accord.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)The sentencing was only reported by Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, which is believed to be close to Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, a hard-line force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Guard has been involved in nearly every case involving dual nationals or those with Western ties being detained.“The conviction of a member of the nuclear negotiation team who has been arrested before and released on bail has been confirmed in the Tehran provincial appeals court,” the short report read. “This person has been sentenced to five years in prison.” In August 2016, hard-line news outlets said authorities detained Esfahani, who reportedly worked as a member of a parallel team focusing on lifting economic sanctions against Iran as part of the nuclear deal. He was later granted bail, which is rare in Iran for those accused of having committed a serious crime.
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