Anoosheh Ashoori ‘suffers from panic attacks and guilt’ after release from Iran’s Evin prison

British-Iranian citizen Anoosheh Ashoori, who was imprisoned for nearly five years in Iran, is still suffering from panic attacks and guilt following his release from prison, his daughter says.

The news comes as Iran recalled a British-born environmentalist this week Morad Tahbaz, 66 years old, in prison after being released with an electronic tag.

Mr Ashoori, who had been jailed for espionage, was released in March along with another citizen with dual nationality Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

His daughter, Elika Ashoori, spoke about her experience in prison.

“My father went to Iran because my grandmother needed surgery and couldn’t find anyone to help her,” she told Sky News.

“A few days later someone put him in a van and they arrested him. He’s trying to be as normal as possible.

“He started having panic attacks and feelings of guilt because he left people behind. The things he says about his time in prison are heartbreaking. The mental psychological trauma you go through is heartbreaking.”

Mr Ashoori was arrested in August 2017 while visiting his elderly mother in Tehran and was later convicted of espionage for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agencyalthough he lived in the UK for 20 years.

His release and that of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe came after The UK government has agreed to repay a £400m debt to Iran dating back to the 1970s, although both governments have said the two issues should not be linked.

Fellow inmate Mr Tahbaz was due to be released in March, but was forced to stay in Iran and wear an electronic tag.

After his recall to prison, British Foreign Secretary Lord Tariq Ahmad called for Mr Tahbaz’s release.

“The Tahbaz family confirmed that Morad was sent back to Evin prison by the Iranian authorities,” he said.

“By continuing its horrible ordeal with these cruel tactics, Iran is sending a clear message to the international community that Iran is not living up to its commitments.

“We call on Iran to release Morad so that he can join his family in Tehran immediately.

“We will continue to work closely with our WE partners to hold Iran accountable and secure Morad’s permanent release and departure from Iran.

Updated: October 28, 2022, 1:32 p.m.

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