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Britain Says U.K. Citizen Reportedly Detained In Iran Not Currently Held There

Mahan Abedin is a journalist specialising in Islamic affairs and an analyst of Middle East politics. He is the director of the research group Dysart Consulting.

Britain's Foreign Office says a U.K. citizen reportedly arrested in Iran is not currently being detained by authorities there.

An independent news site, IranWire, reported the arrest of a dual British-Iranian national named Mahan Abedin on May 2, citing an unidentified source in Tehran.

Asked on May 3 about Abedin's arrest, the British Foreign Office said it was "aware of media reports of the arrest of a British citizen in Iran."

But a Foreign Office spokesman said British officials had been "in contact" with Abedin’s family and they "confirmed that he is not currently in detention."

His brother, Maysam also told The National in an email that Mahan is in Iran but he is free.

IranWire said Abedin worked as a security analyst but did not specify when or where he was arrested or where he lived.

The report indicated that Abedin was visiting Iran when he was taken into custody.

British officials also say they are seeking information about the reported detention in Iran of Aras Amiri, a London-based Iranian citizen who is employed by the British Council.

The British Council, which promotes cultural ties between Britain and other countries, said on May 2 that it was aware that Amiri, 32, had been detained while she was visiting her family in Iran.

"Despite an assertion that this individual has travelled to Iran for work, this is not the case," the British Council said.

IranWire, created by Iranian-Canadian journalist and former detainee Maziar Bahari, reported that Amiri was detained by Iranian authorities on March 14.

It said her parents had initially declined to go public about her detention.

The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said on April 25 that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) also detained Abbas Edalat, a British-Iranian national who is a professor of computer science at Imperial College in London, in mid-April.

At least three other British-Iranian dual citizens are known to be held in Iran.

With reporting by Reuters, IranWire, AP, and The Guardian