Australia has refused the US request to order the extradition of an Iranian national accused of selling US equipment to Iran in violation of sanctions. Reza Dehbashi Kivi, a doctoral student at the University of Queensland, was arrested in September 2018 on suspicion of exporting American-made military equipment to Iran.
The US sought his extradition to face six charges including conspiring to export special amplifiers which fall under the classification of “defence articles” under the US munitions list. If extradited, Mr Kivi faced a maximum of 20 years imprisonment for the alleged offending which dated back to 2008 when he was living in Iran.
Australia’s Attorney General issued a statement confirming that “in all the circumstances of this particular case” the extradition should not be allowed. He went on to say, “my decision was made in accordance with the requirements of Australian domestic legal processes and is completely consistent with the powers provided to the commonwealth attorney-general under our law.”
These statements came hours after Iran agreed to the release of an Australian couple, Mark Firkin and Jolie King, detained in a Tehran prison on spying charges. The Attorney General would not be drawn on whether the cases were linked or there had been any discussions of a prisoner swap.
Mr Kivi, on foot of the decision, was released following 13 months of detention in Australia and has already returned to Iran.