A British-Australian professor who spent 804 days in some of Iran’s most famous prisons was initially arrested for meeting an Israeli, according to a report.
Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert was released on Thursday after the Australian government secretly arranged a complex prisoner exchange, including in Thailand, the Australian newspaper The Age reported.
The university lecturer was stopped at the airport in Tehran in 2018, according to allegations that she was a spy.
Now senior government and diplomatic officials say the real reason for Moore-Gilbert’s detention is that Iranian officials have learned that she was romantically involved with an Israeli citizen.
Dr. Moore-Gilbert was initially sentenced to 1
Australian authorities, including Foreign Minister Maris Payne, have pursued a strategy of “silent diplomacy” for twelve months and have not commented publicly on the case due to its sensitive nature.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declined to discuss any details about her release, saying only he was “relieved”, safe and returning to Australia.
“For reasons that protect the safety of all other Australians who could potentially be in difficult situations, the practice of Australian governments has always been associated with problems of high judgment,” Morrison said.
Australian Ambassador to Thailand Alan McKinnon is lobbying Thai authorities to release three Iranian terrorists who allegedly planned to assassinate Israeli diplomats in exchange for a professor at the University of Melbourne.
Her family said they were “relieved and ecstatic” while Moore-Gilbert expressed her “love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm, generous and courageous people.”