Australia mom on possible swap of detainees with Iran

PERTH, Australia (AP) – The release from Iran of two Australians and an Iranian student held by Australia bears the hallmarks of a swap, a legal expert said yesterday, while the attorney general refused to comment on a possible deal with Tehran.

The blogging couple, Jolie King and Mark Firkin, returned to Australia last Saturday after all charges against them were dropped. They spent almost three months in Tehran’s Evin prison after they were arrested for flying a drone near a military zone without a licence. At the same time, Iran’s state TV reported that an Iranian scientist, Reza Dehbashi, who was detained for 13 months in Australia for purchasing a defence system for his country from the United States (US), had returned home.

Dehbashi had been a re-search student at the University of Queensland.

Attorney General Christian Porter confirmed that Dehbashi would not be extradited to the US but refused to comment on an apparent swap.