TEHRAN — Iran’s judiciary has indicted a member of the country’s team that negotiated the nuclear deal with world powers, a spokesman said Sunday, probably an Iranian Canadian national previously detained by authorities on suspicion of espionage.
An Iranian American also faces charges after allegedly taking $3.1 million from people after promising to help them emigrate overseas, judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said, according to reports by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
In the case involving the nuclear-team member, Mohseni-Ejei said it would be up to a court to decide whether to try the individual charged. He did not name the team member indicted, nor did he explain what charges the indictment carried.
However, Mohseni-Ejei did say that the person involved was a dual national with the initials D.E. That suggests the person is probably Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, a dual Iranian Canadian national.
In August, hard-line news outlets said authorities detained Esfahani, who reportedly worked as a member of a parallel team focusing on the lifting of economic sanctions as part of the deal. He later was granted bail, which is rare in Iran for those accused of having committed a serious crime.
After the 1979 Islamic revolution, Esfahani reportedly served as a member of the Iranian team working at The Hague on disputes between Iran and the United States over pre-revolution purchases of military equipment from the United States by Iran. He is a member of the chartered professional accountants institute in Ontario. He also has served as an adviser to the head of Iran’s Central Bank.
The nuclear deal remains a sore spot for Iranian hard-liners, but it was a foreign policy victory for moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
Rouhani is widely expected to seek a second term in Iran’s May presidential election.
Meanwhile, Mohseni-Ejei announced the case against the unnamed Iranian American, who presumably faces fraud charges.
“The person has been detained, but they were not a government official,” he said.
The U.S. State Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Several Iranian Americans have been detained in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions.
Iran does not recognize dual nationalities, meaning that those it detains cannot receive consular assistance. In most of the recent cases, dual nationals have faced secret charges in closed-door hearings before Iran’s Revolutionary Court, which handles cases involving alleged attempts to overthrow the government.