British Council confirms arrest of its Iranian staffer

The British Council is confirming that a woman who Iran sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of spying for Britain is an Iranian national employed by the group.

A Tuesday statement from the council, a non-political organization that works in education, arts and culture, identified the woman as Aras Amiri.

Iran said Monday a female suspect who was sentenced to prison had worked for the British Council and cooperated with British intelligence.

Iran's Judiciary said the woman had been jailed in Iran for the past year while her case was under investigation.

The British Council statement says: "We firmly refute the accusation levied against her."

The statement said Amiri worked for the group for five years in London and she did not travel to Iran for work.