Former university academic held in Iran

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A FORMER Durham University academic is in custody in Iran.

Dr Reza Molavi, a former director of the Centre for Iran Studies (CIS) at Durham University, was arrested on arrival from the UK at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport last April and has reportedly been allowed only limited contact with his family since.

Dr Molavi, who is in his 60s and is thought to have medical issues, was an honorary research fellow at the university’s school of Government and International Affairs and a tutor.

A Durham University spokesman said Dr Molavi had resigned from these posts, along with his role at the CIS, with effect from last May, after returning to Iran for family reasons.

He said the university is in contact with Dr Molavi’s family.

Dr Molavi was educated in the U.S. and UK, married a British Iranian and holds dual British-Iranian citizenship.

News of Dr Molavi’s arrest has emerged amid turmoil in Iran. There have been reports of police clashing with and tens of thousands of protesters in Tehran, with one person killed and others injured, as opposition supporters tried to evoke the spirit of Egypt’s popular uprising.

Eye witness accounts say that police used tear gas against the protesters.