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EU is dealing with Slovak held in Iran

Diplomats in Brussels are discussing the case of 26-year-old Slovak Matej Valuch, who has been detained by Iranian authorities for alleged espionage.

Diplomats in Brussels are discussing the case of 26-year-old Slovak Matej Valuch, who has been detained by Iranian authorities for alleged espionage.

“It is very serious and we in the [European] Commission are aware of it,” said Maroš Šefčovič, vice-president of the EC and commissioner for inter-institutional relations and administration.

Šefčovič added that he has already discussed the case with the head of EU diplomacy, Catherine Ashton, who wants to solve the problem through the diplomatic channels.

“Therefore we will not provide any details, since it might damage Mr Valuch's chances of returning home,” said EC spokesperson Anthonio Gravili, as quoted by Sme.

Meanwhile, the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that Slovakia’s consul to Iran met with Valuch.

“It is calming news,” the mother of the detained Slovak, Ľubica Valuchová, told Sme.

Iran suspects her son of violating national security, claiming he was allegedly working as a CIA agent, which he confessed in a video called ‘Hunter in Trap [sic]’, filmed by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence. Valuch’s family does not believe that he is involved in espionage. He is rather believed to have become a victim of Iranian propaganda, Sme wrote.

London-based Iranian lawyer and human-rights researcher Seyyed Mohammad Hossien Nayyeri, who holds a similar opinion, told Sme that the video is ridiculous and looks like a comedy. US journalist Tim Weiner, who earned the National Book Award for his book on the history of the CIA, claims that it is very improbable that somebody who does not speak Persian could work as a CIA agent in Iran.

Source: Sme

For more information about this story please see: UPDATED: Slovak held by Iran over spying claims (video included)

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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