Muscat: Former Iranian diplomat Nosratollah Tajik, who spent six years under house arrest in the UK on charges of espionage, has urged governments not to put an individual’s life at risk in their political game.
“I have escaped from an illegal US sting operation following Britain’s High Court order after a six-year ordeal that affected my health,” Tajik said after his arrival at the Defence Airport in Muscat aboard a Royal Air Force of Oman chartered flight from London on Tuesday night.
“In legal terms, the UK Home Secretary is responsible for my health deterioration and I intend to sue him,” he said.
The ex-diplomat claimed that he was falsely implicated in an illegal sting operation. Tajik was wanted by the US after agents from the US Department of Homeland Security posed as arms dealers seeking to sell night-vision binoculars for export to Iran in violation of arms embargoes in 2006.
For the past three years the British government had asked Washington to drop the extradition request. It received no response for more than two-and-a-half years, a delay which led to the extradition being denied.
Tajik also fought a legal battle against his extradition to the US for six years on health grounds and on November 27, the British High Court blocked the extradition.
“It was political,” he said when asked why his return was delayed for over two weeks after a court order.
He thanked Oman for securing his return from Britain. “They have been working on this case to secure my release for quite some time,” he revealed. The Iranian ambassador to Oman, Ali Akbar Seba’wyeh, said the Omani government had worked for almost two years to secure Tajik’s release.
The bitterness in Tajik was evident when he said that his case was a good example of the US policy against the Iranian people and government.
However, he tried his best to show that he was not seeking to get back at the Americans. “I’m not seeking revenge, I just want to bring to public attention the act against a student who is studying legally but they [the US] did the sting operations with FBI agents which is illegal,” he reiterated.
“So, they should be responsible for the action. Six years’ house arrest destroyed my life, my family life. It is nonsense, destroying an individual,” he said, adding that he would also contemplate suing the Americans.
“I would like to thank Sultan Qaboos for recognising the sensitivity of the region and government for its efforts to reduce tension to prevent any instability to future,” he said.
He blamed governments for playing with the lives of individuals. “There should be better understanding and cooperation between governments rather than hegemony.”
“I am happy if the governments talk to each rather than put individuals in politically motivated cases,” said the former Iranian ambassador to Jordan.
“The unilateral sanctions against Iranian are not wise,” he said, adding that the sanctions are hurting people.
“I must write a book on my ordeal,” he added.