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The release of two Australian bloggers from an Iranian jail appears to have come as part of a swap deal. On the same day Jolie King and Mark Firkin were set free, an extradition request for an Iranian student to be sent from Brisbane to the United States was denied. Instead, Dehbashi Kivi will be sent back to Iran. Attorney-General Christian Porter has refused to confirm the details but released a statement about the case. Mr Porter says,
"While it is likely that because of Mr Kivi's nationality some will speculate regarding this matter... consistent with prior practice, I do not intend to comment further on the particular details of this case." "Particularly when any such response from me may diminish our Government's capacity to deal with future matters of this type in Australia's best interests," he said
Two Australian bloggers imprisoned in an Iranian jail after reportedly flying a drone without a licence have been freed thanks to an apparent prisoner swap. Australian authorities have confirmed an Iranian academic wanted in the US has been released from a Queensland prison, AAP is reporting. News of the release came hours after Perth couple Mark Firkin and Jolie King returned home after three months in an Iranian prison. Attorney-General Christian Porter on Saturday night confirmed he’d decided the Iranian man shouldn’t be extradited.
Reza Dehbashi Kivi, a 38-year-old cancer researcher, was arrested in September 2018 after US authorities accused him of conspiring to export electronic military devices to Iran.
They were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of “military sites and forbidden areas”, an Iranian judiciary spokesman said last month.
Iranian state TV aired footage of, Mr Dehbashi Kivi returning home after 13 months in custody in Australia after he allegedly circumvented the US sanctions against his native Iran.
Footage shows Mr Dehbashi Kivi wiping tears from his eyes as he walked into Tehran's Imam Khomeni international airport.
The 38-year-old was accused of exporting American equipment for detecting stealth planes or missiles to Iran.