TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran has accused a detained American-Iranian dual citizen of “acting against national security,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Wednesday.
The report did not name the suspect, but said he was arrested in the northern city of Gorgan in July, and so appeared to be referring to Robin Shahini. Authorities did not announce any allegations when Shahini was detained on July 24.
The Tasnim report said the suspect was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard on allegations of “acting against national security, having relations with anti-revolutionary elements and collaborating with enemy states.”
Shahini, 46, left Iran in 1998 and lived in San Diego. He graduated in May from San Diego State University.
Iran does not recognize dual nationalities, which means he cannot receive consular assistance.
The U.S. State Department has previously said it was aware of reports of Shahini’s arrest and was looking into the matter. A spokesman, Justin Reynolds, referred to that earlier statement when contacted Wednesday, and did not provide further details.
Several dual citizens have been arrested on security-related allegations since Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with world powers last year. Iran’s security forces and judiciary are largely dominated by hard-liners opposed to the agreement.
In previous cases involving dual nationals, like the detention of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, officials initially announced indictments had been handed down without providing specifics. Later, Iranian news organizations with close ties to security services offered details of the charges.
A prisoner swap in January between Iran and the U.S. freed Rezaian and three other Iranian-Americans.
Three dual nationals and a Lebanese man have been detained in Iran in recent months. The four, who have ties to Britain, Canada and the United States, all are believed to have been detained by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, a hard-line force charged with ensuring the country’s Islamic government remains in power. The charges they face remain unclear.
Associated Press writer Adam Schreck in Dubai, United Arab Emirates contributed to this report.
Follow Amir Vahdat on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AmirhVahdat . His work can be found at https://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/amir-vahdat
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.