Teheran confirms Thailand freed 3 Iranians swopped for academic

In this file photo taken on Feb 20, 2012, Thai police officers escort Iranian bomb suspect Mohammad Kharzei (centre) during an investigation at his rented house in Bangkok. PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) - A top official in Teheran confirmed that three Iranians exchanged this week for jailed Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert had been held in Thailand, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Friday (Nov 27).

The Associated Press earlier reported that the men were detained by Thai authorities in connection with a botched 2012 bomb attack.

Mr Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, also said that the Islamic Republic was open to further prisoner swaps.

"In all countries, after the judicial process is complete and the person has been sentenced to prison, it is possible to exchange them on the basis of national interests," he said.

Iran is holding several foreign citizens, including dual-national Iranians, on national security charges, triggering criticism that it's using them to gain political leverage.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.