“On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, three Iranian prisoners held in Thailand were exchanged for an Australian prisoner in Tehran as a result of an intensive diplomatic work with Thailand and Australia for more than a year,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said in a statement on Friday.
Araqchi said the prisoner swap was unique in itself, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“Three countries were involved in the swap and a trilateral interaction was held; three Iranians were released in exchange for only one foreigner; the swap was carried out at Tehran’s airport, meaning that first the three Iranians were released and arrived in Tehran, and then the Australian prisoner left the country; the swap was performed with an exclusive Australian airplane that carried the Iranian inmates to Tehran first,” the Iranian official said.
The exchange of prisoners is customary and accepted by the international norms, and is by no means in violation of the sovereignty of the Judiciary, the deputy minister underlined.
“In all countries, after the judicial procedures are over and a person is sentenced to prison, the possibility will be opened up for an exchange. In our country, this is possible by the approval of the country’s Supreme National Security Council. The other countries have their respective procedures.”
Araqchi finally noted that Iran’s Foreign Ministry has made arrangements for at least five cases of prisoner swap over the past year, pointing to exchanges with the US, France, Thailand, and Australia that resulted in the release of eight Iranians for six foreign inmates held in Iran.
Moore-Gilbert was serving a prison sentence in Iran for spying for Israel, according to Press TV.
She was freed from Tehran’s Evin House of Detention on Wednesday morning after serving about two years of her 10-year jail term.
She traveled to Iran under the guise of academic and research activity on a sabbatical at the University of Religions and Denominations.
In her first trip to Iran, she did not take any action and left the country after a short time.
In the second visit, however, she entered Iran on the recommendation of the Zionist regime.
Moore-Gilbert traveled to different cities as part of her mission and gathered information but she was arrested in September 2018.
Following legal and judicial proceedings, the spy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for acting against Iran’s national security through her intelligence cooperation with the Israeli regime.