Iran General NewsBritish court approves extradition to US of Iranian diplomat

British court approves extradition to US of Iranian diplomat

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AFP: A British court ruled in favour of an extradition request Thursday against an Iranian diplomat accused by the United States of smuggling US military hardware to Iran.
LONDON, April 19, 2007 (AFP) – A British court ruled in favour of an extradition request Thursday against an Iranian diplomat accused by the United States of smuggling US military hardware to Iran.

Nosratollah Tajik, a former Iranian ambassador to Jordan, was arrested on October 26 in his home in Durham, in the north-east of England, where he was a teacher at an Islamic studies institute.

US secret agents operating in Britain claimed they filmed the ex-diplomat discussing the sale of night-vision goggles to Iran, a deal which could have been worth three million dollars (2.2 million euros).

Tajik’s lawyers argued that the US agents illegally entrapped him on British soil, and said his extradition request should also be denied on the basis that he should not be prosecuted in the United States for a crime allegedly committed in Britain.

But Judge Caroline Tubbs at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court said that Tajik’s extradition was justified because the “intended effect of the alleged actions was to bring about harm within the US” by exporting military equipment from the United States either directly or indirectly to Iran.

The judge also said that the US agents had not acted illegally.

Tajik was released on bail, and has the right to appeal the court’s ruling.

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