Kylie Moore-Gilbert: Lecturer 'released by Iran' in prisoner swap

Kylie Moore-Gilbert: Lecturer 'released by Iran' in prisoner swap

Iran state TV says Tehran has released detained British-Australian academic Kylie Moore Gilbert in exchange for three Iranians held overseas.

Iranian state media is reporting the Melbourne University lecturer's been released as part of a prisoner swap. Ms Moore-Gilbert had vehemently denied the charges and maintained her innocence. She was accused of being a spy, which she denied.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals in recent years, primarily on espionage charges.

Iranian state television released footage Wednesday of Moore-Gilbert in a gray head covering at what appeared to be Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran, according to the Associated Press.

Moore-Gilbert has gone on hunger strikes and pleaded for the Australian government to do more to free her.

She wore a blue face mask under her chin.

Moore-Gilbert's detention had strained relations between Iran and the West at a time of already escalating tensions, which reached a fever pitch earlier this year following the American killing of a top Iranian general in Baghdad and retaliatory Iranian strikes on a U.S. military base.

Iranian state TV shows Kylie Moore-Gilbert with a grey hijab sitting at what appears to be a greeting room at one of Tehran's airports. Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi welcomed them at the airport.

State TV has described the detained Iranians as "economic activists", while a state TV-affiliated website described them as a businessman and two citizens who were detained "on baseless charges".

Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the D.C. -based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, tweeted that Moore-Gilbert's release reflected how "Iran has 2 parallel regimes working in concert: Those w/ power take hostages, build nuclear programs, support regional militias, carry out assassinations, and are inaccessible to Western officials".

Moore-Gilbert has appealed to the Australian government to work harder for her release.

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