‘Breakthrough’ for relations with Iran after 800 days of hostage diplomacy
Australian woman Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been freed from an Iranian prison after being detained for more than two years.
Dr Moore-Gilbert was a Middle East expert at Melbourne University when she was arrested at Tehran in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years, in what Foreign Minister Marise Payne described as “unjustified detention”, for espionage charges.
The Australian academic’s eventual release was part of a prisoner exchange for three Iranians held abroad.
NEW: Iran state TV just now shows footage of Kylie Moore-Gilbert leaving Evin prison & boarding a plane with dramatic music & lights.
She says in Farsi outside Evin, “I visited a few Arab countries & Zionist regime & Iran & Turkey.”
“Zionist regime” is Iran’s term for Israel. pic.twitter.com/AnV31vvzgY
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) November 25, 2020
International Relations and Islamic Politics expert at Deakin University Professor Greg Barton told Deborah Knight this is a “breakthrough for diplomacy”.
“We knew the Australian diplomats were working very hard behind the scenes, but it just took so very long; more than 800 days.
“It probably comes down to the fact that Kylie was taken in so called hostage diplomacy; kidnapped basically for a ransom.
“And Australia really wasn’t in a position to easily offer anything … there was nothing we had on hand in Kylie’s case that could easily accommodate requests.”
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Image: Twitter / Iribnews