Sir Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive, British Council: “Further to yesterday’s media reports, it sadly seems likely that our colleague Aras Amiri is the Iranian national who has allegedly been sentenced by Iranian authorities. We are dismayed by this reported sentence and are profoundly concerned for Aras’ safety and wellbeing, which has been our absolute priority throughout her detention since early 2018. We firmly refute the accusation levied against her. We believe that it is especially important to build mutual understanding between peoples and nations through education and culture, particularly where normal bilateral relationships struggle to flourish.”
“Aras has been employed for five years in London to help greater appreciation of Iranian culture in the UK, for example supporting translations of Iranian books into English. The British Council does not do any work in Iran and Aras did not travel to Iran for work. We will remain in close contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office."