Iran General NewsUK court blocks extradition to US of former Iranian...

UK court blocks extradition to US of former Iranian ambassador

-

Guardian: A high court judge has blocked the extradition to the US of a former Iranian ambassador who was the target of an American sting operation in London. High court rules that Nosratollah Tajik should be discharged after six years of delays in extradition process

The Guardian

A high court judge has blocked the extradition to the US of a former Iranian ambassador who was the target of an American sting operation in London.

Nosratollah Tajik, 59, was arrested in London in 2006 pending his extradition on charges of conspiring to export US defence night-vision weapons sights to Iran without a licence.

Tajik, an ex-Iranian ambassador to Jordan who is an honorary fellow of Durham University and lives in the north-east, was arrested when agents of the US department of homeland security posed as arms dealers selling the night-vision goggles.

Lord Justice Moses however ordered on Tuesday that Tajik should be discharged after more than six years of delays in the extradition process.

Unusually in his case the source of the delays was not the court but initially the home secretary and then the American authorities. The high court first rejected his appeal against extradition on grounds of ill-health in 2008, but then followed a three-and-a-half-year delay before the home secretary decided that he should be sent to the United States to stand trial in Illinois.

But at the same time the Home Office sought to persuade the Americans that they should withdraw the extradition on the curious grounds that it could damage Britain’s relations with Iran and endanger the safety of British embassy staff in Tehran.

“The reason was explained by a Home Office official,” said Moses in his summary of the case. “His case was a ‘prominent feature of the UK’s bilateral relationship with Iran since his arrest in October 2006 and has the potential to cause significant disruption to that relationship’. The UK was concerned as to the security of the British embassy in Tehran and the safety of staff who worked there in the light of fears as to the reaction in Tehran should Mr Tajik be extradited to the USA.”

But there was no response from the Americans despite repeated requests from the Home Office and the Foreign Office, which repeatedly raised the Tajik case.

“It was only in late September 2011 that the secretary of state was informed that the United States did not intend to withdraw the … request for Mr Tajik’s extradition,” said the ruling.

The high court judge said he could only conclude that the Americans had arrogated to themselves the time for choosing when he should be extradited and face trial without putting forward any justification for their decision. He said that the extradition laws, which require the speedy surrender of those accused, did not allow them to do this.

“In the absence of any justification offered by the requesting state, the US, the court could not find there was reasonable cause for the delay. It ordered Mr Tajik’s discharge.”

It remains open to the Americans and the Home Office to take the case to the supreme court. But until that happens the former high-ranking Iranian diplomat will be free.

Latest news

Growing Disintegration Among Iran Regime’s Forces

Iran has been shaken by a wave of nationwide protests since mid-September. The trigger was the death of the...

Grim Tidings for Iran’s Regime After Approval of UN Fact-Finding Mission

After many discussions and debates, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a fact-finding mission to investigate the...

Iranian People’s Resistance Changed the Appeasement Policy

Soon after the new US government started its obligations in January 2021, hand in hand with the European governments...

Khamenei’s Disgraceful Campaign Against Piranshahr and Javanrud, Who Will Be the Loser?

On the 67th day of Iran’s revolution, the Iranian regime attempted to put a halt to the protests in...

Iran: Expensive Medicine, Cheap Human Life

A look at the equipment and weapons that the Iranian regime has been using against its people to suppress...

Who Is Abolqasem Salavati Iran Regime’s Killer Judge?

Last week, it was announced that the case of several people who were arrested during the Iranian People's uprising...

Must read

Iran seeks U.S. wheat despite nuclear tension

Reuters: Iran's state grain buyer has been in talks...

Iran runs altered images of Michelle Obama gown

AP: Iranian state media has run altered images of...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you