TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said so far there has been no official report on the arrest of an Iranian student in Australia but the ministry has ordered the embassy in Canberra to quickly follow up on the issue.
“So far, we have not received such report from any official channel or Australian authorities except for some media in cyberspace,” Qassemi said in response to a question about the arrest of the Iranian research student in Australia.
“The Iranian embassy in Canberra was ordered to follow the issue promptly through Australian authorities,” he said, adding that after receiving information, the outcome will be made public.
“The Islamic Republic's policy is always to protect the rights of Iranians around the world and based on our duty, we will try our hardest to check the veracity of this report and how possible actions would be taken (in this regard),” the spokesman noted.
The remarks came as Australia’s ABC News reported that a University of Queensland (UQ) research student is fighting to avoid extradition to the United States after American authorities accused him of exporting military radar equipment to help the Iranian Government.
Reza Dehbashi Kivi, 38, has never set foot in the US but is accused of exporting American equipment for detecting stealth planes or missiles to Iran.
Dehbashi could face a maximum 20 years' prison for the alleged offences, which date back to 2008 when he was living in Iran, the country of his birth, the report said.
His barrister Daniel Caruana told the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday his client was on an "extraordinary scholarship" at UQ to study his PhD, where he was working on developing a machine to detect skin cancers.
The Redbank Plains man was arrested on Thursday and taken into custody, with American officials seeking to have him extradited to the US to face six charges.
According to court documents, Dehbashi is facing charges of conspiring to export special amplifiers classified as "defense articles" under the US munitions list.
The US Government has alleged the amplifiers were bought from American companies.
Another charge accuses him of "aiding and abetting in the exportation of defense articles from the United States to Iran".