Vienna protests as Iran sentences Austrian to 7.5 years for ‘spying’

Austrian foreign ministry summons Iranian envoy to lodge unequivocal protest; two other Austrian nationals among at least 17 Western passport-holders being detained

Illustrative: A prisoner being held in an Iranian prison. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
Illustrative: A prisoner being held in an Iranian prison. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

An Austrian has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail in Iran for spying, Vienna said Tuesday, adding it had summoned the Iranian ambassador.

The foreign ministry had announced the man’s detention in October and said it is in regular contact with his family.

“He was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for alleged espionage, with two years of probation being waived in the case of good behavior,” the ministry said.

It found out about the verdict on Monday and summoned the Iranian ambassador on Tuesday to express “our unequivocal protest.”

It added the Austrian ambassador in Iran was able to meet the man during three prison visits since his detention.

“We will continue to exhaust all possibilities to give him and all other imprisoned Austrian citizens all over the world the best possible consular support,” the ministry said.

At least 17 Western passport-holders are detained in Iran, most of them dual nationals, including two Iranian-Austrians.

Tehran insists all have been subject to a proper judicial process.

Rights groups and supporters however say they are innocent, and that they are being held as part of a policy of hostage-taking to extract concessions from foreign governments.

Activists fear there may be more cases yet to be confirmed.

An Iranian court on Tuesday sentenced to death an Iranian-German national who supporters say was abducted abroad and forcibly returned to Iran for a show trial.

Germany has condemned the sentence as “inhuman.”

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: [email protected]
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.