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Australian envoy visits detained British-Australian academic in Iran, reports she 'is well'

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s ambassador to Iran has met with a British-Australian academic reported to be serving a 10-year sentence for espionage and says she is in good health, Canberra said on Tuesday.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a specialist in Middle East politics at the University of Melbourne, has been detained in Iran since September, 2018.

Amid reports that Moore-Gilbert has frequently attempted suicide and is often held in solitary confinement, the British-Australian academic was granted a meeting with Canberra’s representative to Iran on Sunday, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

“Dr Moore-Gilbert is well and has access to food, medical facilities and books,” a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The academic’s family issued a statement through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade saying they were “reassured” by the ambassador’s visit.

Iran has stepped up detentions of foreign and dual nationals amid a protracted standoff with Western powers, after the United States withdrew from an international agreement to curb Iranian nuclear activities and reimposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Michael Perry

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