Iran swaps jailed Australian academic for 3 Iranians: state TV

Iran has released Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was serving a 10-year prison sentence for spying, state television in the Islamic republic reported Wednesday, in exchange for three Iranians.

“A businessman and two (other) Iranian citizens detained abroad on the basis of false accusations were freed in exchange for a spy with dual nationality working for” Israel, the broadcaster’s Iribnews website said, also identifying Moore-Gilbert by name.

It provided no further information on the exchange.

Iribnews aired footage without commentary showing three men apparently being met by officials, and images of a veiled woman who appeared to be Moore-Gilbert in a green van.

A lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, Moore-Gilbert’s arrest was confirmed by Iran in September 2019 but it is believed she had been detained a year earlier.

She has denied the charges against her.

According to letters she smuggled out of prison and published in British media in January, Moore-Gilbert rejected Tehran’s offer to work as a spy.

Moore-Gilbert wrote that the first 10 months she spent in an isolated Revolutionary Guard-run wing of Tehran’s Evin prison had “gravely damaged” her mental health, according to extracts in The Guardian and The Times newspapers.