Iran detainee Kylie Moore-Gilbert says IRGC wanted to be taught Hebrew

Iran detainee Kylie Moore-Gilbert says IRGC wanted to be taught Hebrew
Moore-Gilbert revealed more details about her time in captivity in her book, 'The Uncaged Sky'.
2 min read
21 April, 2022
Moore-Gilbert was imprisoned in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for over two years [Getty]

Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert has revealed in a new book that Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers asked her to teach them Hebrew during her detention in Iran, which lasted for more than two years.

In the recently published book, called 'The Uncaged Sky', she describes a conversation between her and an IRGC interrogator.

"You need to come to us with an offer. Can I make a suggestion? You speak Hebrew. You could give us lessons," she wrote. 

She said she was both shocked and fascinated by the prospect "of [her] in a classroom teaching the Jewish language to a room full of antisemitic Islamic extremists", in her words.

Hebrew is the national language of Israel, Iran's main regional adversary.

Both states have repeatedly accused each other of spying on their respective military and energy facilities, and have come close to open conflict several times over the past decades.

Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer of Islamic Studies at Melbourne University, spent 804 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

She was arrested during a visit to the Iranian city of Qom to attend an academic conference and charged with spying for the Australian government.

She was subjected to hundreds of interrogations, but repeatedly denied the allegations against her. The Australian government also denied the charges.

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She was eventually released after a complicated prisoner swap involving three countries that involved the return of three Iranians convicted of attempting to bomb the Israeli embassy in Bangkok.

Iranian authorities routinely detain foreign nationals who critics say are used as hostages.

Earlier this year, two British-Iranian prisoners, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, were released from prison after the UK government arranged for the repayment of a historic £400 million debt to Iran for undelivered tanks that dated back to the 1970s.