Morad Tahbaz, also a US citizen, spent 48 hours “under house arrest” with an ankle bracelet before being sent back to prison, according to his lawyer, Hajja Kermani.
Tahbaz’s lawyer told CNN that “security guards surrounded Mourad’s house for 48 hours before returning him to prison.”
A British Foreign Office spokesman said on Friday: “The Iranians have informed the UK government that Morad has been taken to Evin to have an ankle tag that should have been fitted before his release. We hope to see him back home in the near future. Hours. Morad Tahbaz is a tri-national and we are working closely with the United States to secure Murad’s permanent release.”
A US State Department spokesperson also told CNN, “Iran has complied with the UK to authorize Morad Tahbaz to leave. As the UK government has said, the UK has been told that Morad has been returned to Evin Prison only to be provided with an ankle tag prison, after which he will be allowed back home.”
The spokesperson added that the US was “not a party to this arrangement, but would join the UK in deeming anything less than Murad’s immediate leave of absence a violation of Iran’s obligations”.
As of Saturday morning, CNN cannot confirm whether Tahbaz has been released from prison and brought back under house arrest.
The US is “urgently consulting” with the UK on appropriate responses and said it continues to “work day and night to secure the release of our unjustly detained citizens, including British American citizen Murad Tahbaz.”
“Simply put, Iran is unjustly detaining innocent Americans and others and it must release them immediately,” the State Department spokesman added.
Following the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Ashouri earlier this week, Truss announced that the UK had repaid a £400 million ($524 million) debt owed to Iran, which Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian denied was linked to the prison release. Wednesday.
Ramin Mostaghem wrote from Tehran, Celine Khalidi wrote from Abu Dhabi, Ruba Al-Hinnawi and Maya Ellinger wrote from Atlanta, Arno Siad wrote from London and Jennifer Hansler wrote from the State Department. CNN’s Jevan Ravindran contributed to this report.
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