USA national sentenced for spying in Iran

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 17, 2017

"It has been confirmed and verified that this individual has come to Iran for infiltration", said Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, spokesman for Iran's judiciary.

Also Sunday, the judiciary disclosed that a U.S citizen was sentenced to 10 years in jail for allegedly "infiltrating" the country.

Tehran authorities earlier this year stated that around 70 "spies", who are dual nationals from the United States and other Western countries, are serving sentences in the country's capital, but the identities of only a few have been made public.

The administration is expected to approve the waiver, despite an internal debate on how to respond to Iran's human rights abuses and support for militant groups like Hezbollah.

"Xiyue Wang is a remarkable, linguistically gifted graduate student", he wrote, of Wang, who is fluent in Persian.

Several Iranian dual nationals from the U.S., Austria, France, Canada and Britain have been detained in Iran over the past year.

Hossein Fereidoun was detained for unspecified financial crimes, a judicial spokesman said.

Iran and the United States does not have diplomatic relations since 1980, and their reports were poisoned after the arrival of the american president Donald Trump, who has, with the Congress, has adopted a hostile stance towards Tehran.

"We are aware reports regarding Xiyue Wang, a USA citizen detained in Iran.‎ For privacy reasons, we are not going to detail efforts in specific consular cases", a State Department spokesman said in a statement.

The U.S. State Department accused Iran of fabricating national security-related charges to detain Americans and other foreigners. Since his arrest, the university has worked with Wang's family, the USA government, private counsel and others trying to get Wang freed, Day said. Hard-line conservatives in Iran had long accused him of corruption. Also, Karan Vafadari, who owns an art gallery in Tehran, was arrested last July with his wife, who is a permanent USA resident.

He lives in Washington DC and has done work for the USA government.

But Mr Zakka was already known to have been sentenced to 10 years behind bars last year after being accused of espionage-related charges.

Also that month, Iran sentenced Iranian-Americans Baquer Namazi and his son Siamik to 10 years in prison and fined them $4.8 million for "collaborating with a foreign government", according to Iran's official news channel IRINN.

Still missing is former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorised Central Intelligence Agency mission.

Morello reported from Washington.

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