July 8 – Iran’s State TV said the country’s Revolutionary Guards had arrested a senior UK diplomat and several other foreign nationals in the country on spying charges this week.

The claim that one of Britain’s top diplomats had been detained was denied by the British government. However, Warsaw confirmed that a Polish scientist had been arrested in Iran and that it was working to secure his release.

The arrests come at a time of heightened tension between Iran and the West, following a months-long deadlock between European states and the US who are signed up to the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

A parliamentary committee in Belgium has approved a controversial agreement which would allow the country to perform prisoner swaps with the Iranian government.

The deal would enable the release of Professor Ahmadreza Djalali and NGO worker Olivier Vandecasteele who are currently being held in Iran on the condition that Belgium release an Iranian alleged to be a terrorist.

The treaty must be approved by Belgium’s House of Representatives before the prisoner swap can take place.

And archaeologists said they had discovered one of the most important fire temples in Iran used during the Sassanid era.

The fire temple — which was found in northeast Iran — features inscriptions in Pahlavi, engraved plasterwork and columns believed to have been used to support the temple’s central hall.

The finds are expected to offer ground-breaking insights into Iran’s cultural history during the Sassanid period, according to the archaeologists gathering the artifacts.