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The release of the Melbourne academic who had been detained in Iran for two years allegedly involved the release of an Iranian man convicted of attempting to assassinate Israeli diplomats in Thailand, as well as an Iranian businessman.

Morrison confirmed that no prisoner held in Australia had been released.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that no prisoners held in Australia have been released as part of the Kylie Moore-Gilbert release. (AP)

“The Australian government does not recognize or confirm any such agreement regarding the release of others elsewhere,” Morrison said.

“If other people have been released in other places, it is decisions of the sovereign governments in those places.

“There are no detainees in Australia who have been released.”

Morrison said he was not aware that the Israeli government has raised concerns about the reported prisoner exchange.

“When another sovereign state has made a decision on the release of prisoners, that is their business,” he said.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she declined to comment on diplomatic discussions with other governments.

Morrison also said he was open to the idea of ​​the incoming Biden administration in the United States renegotiating the Iran nuclear deal to dissuade Westerners from engaging in “hostage diplomacy.”

“We welcome any improvement that leads to more legal behavior from states like Iran,” Morrison said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he welcomed the strengthening of international agreements to encourage the legal behavior of states like Iran. (AP)
Morrison told Today that he spoke to Dr. Moore-Gilbert shortly after Iranian authorities released her.

“She is still processing, but I must say that the sound of her voice and the tone of her voice was very uplifting, particularly given what has happened. Obviously, she is still taking it all in, as expected,” said the Prime Minister .

“I said before that I believe in miracles … I tell you one thing, I just received another.”

Iranian state television reported that the Australian’s release after more than two years in jail was part of a trade for three Iranians held abroad.

Dr Moore-Gilbert was a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Melbourne when she was sent to Evin Prison in Tehran in September 2018 and sentenced to 10 years. She is one of several Westerners detained in Iran on internationally criticized espionage charges that their families and human rights groups say are unfounded.

Iranian state television showed Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert sitting in a minbus after being released from prison. (AP)

Morrison said his release after 804 days behind bars was achieved thanks to the hard work of officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian ambassador to Iran.

“The skill and experience of the people who have been involved in solving these problems is extraordinary.”

In a statement, Dr Moore-Gilbert thanked the Australian government for helping to secure her release and the people who campaigned for her freedom.

She described her two years in jail as a long and traumatic ordeal. He said he respected Iran despite the “injustices” of his imprisonment.

“I came to your country as a friend and with friendly intentions and I leave Iran with those feelings,” said Dr. Moore-Gilbert.

International pressure on Iran to secure her release has intensified in recent months following reports that her health was deteriorating during long periods of isolation and that she had been transferred to the notorious Qarchak prison, east of Tehran.

Iranian state television shows Kylie Moore-Gilbert in a gray hijab sitting in what appears to be a welcome room at one of Tehran’s airports. (Twitter)

Morrison said that Dr. Moore-Gilbert had shown incredible physical and mental stamina.

“He is an extraordinary person, strong, brave and intelligent. That allowed him to overcome this ordeal,” he said.


www.9news.com.au

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