The Australian academic, who suffered more than two years in an Iranian prison for unsubstantiated espionage, has revealed that her kidnappers tried to recruit her as a double agent.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was convicted of espionage, experienced a staggering 804 days in prison, including seven months in solitary confinement, and said the notorious Iranian Revolutionary Guard asked her to spy on Iran prior to her release.
« I knew the reason they didn’t enter into significant negotiations with the Australians (for my release) was because they wanted me to be recruited, so that I should work for them as a spy, » Ms. Moore-Gilbert told Sky News in an exclusive interview with the world.
« (They said) if I worked with them and agreed to become a spy for them, they would set me free, » she said.
Dr. Moore-Gilbert described the move as Iran « wanting its cake and eating it too » by getting something out of a release deal with Australia and gaining a double agent that could be useful in other parts of the world.
« They were more interested in me using my academic status as a cover story to travel to other countries in the Middle East and perhaps to European countries, perhaps to America, and collect information for them there. »
She said her worth to the Iranian authorities, either as a potential spy or in a prisoner swap, gave her « protection » while in prison.
« I think the Revolutionary Guards told the prison, ‘If something happens to this foreign woman who is of great value to us, then hell has to be paid for, » she said.
But dr. Moore-Gilbert had to endure more than two years of the ten-year prison sentence.
In her candid interview, broadcast Tuesday on Sky News, Ms. Moore-Gilbert revealed the « psychological torture » she endured when a prisoner drove her « completely insane » – but access to her intense inner anger became hers secret survival weapon.
The agony began immediately after Dr. Moore-Gilbert in Tehran in September 2018, when her kidnappers tried to « break » her with four weeks of brutal solitary confinement in a tiny, ice-cold cell with no daylight, no rest or distraction around the clock and constant noise.
It took a heavy toll as the academic – a lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne – descended into what is known as a « prolonged anxiety attack or panic attack. »
Dr. Moore-Gilbert said she was initially questioned daily by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Intelligence Service, who seized her while trying to leave the country after attending an academic conference.
Interviewer Melissa Doyle will also address the issue of Dr. Moore-Gilbert through her husband Ruslan Hodorov, who was having an affair with her colleague in prison with the doctoral student Dr. Kylie Baxter started.
Dr. Baxter was from the University of Melbourne as a liaison with Dr. Moore-Gilbert’s husband and family had been appointed while she was incarcerated.
It is believed that Dr. Moore-Gilbert was partially accused of being a spy because her husband was a Russian-Israeli man.
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