Iran court sentences United States citizen to 10 years imprisonment

Cheryl Sanders
July 18, 2017

Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejeie, spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, said in a weekly press briefing in Tehran on Sunday (16 July) that the China-born USA citizen identified as Xiyue Wang was jailed for being "an infiltrating American agent".

Gholamhossein Karbaschi, the former Tehran mayor who has had his own corruption cases that some believed were politically motivated, told BBC Persian from Tehran that given Mohseni-Ejei's language, it is likely that the case is still in the research stage, despite a bail being set.

A spokesman for the Judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, said on Sunday that "a USA infiltration agent", who held both a United States nationality and that of another country, had been identified and arrested by Intelligence Ministry forces, according to the Mizan Online News Agency, PressTV reports.

"It became clear that he was involved in the infiltration project and the initial court has sentenced him to ten years but this could be appealed". According to the Iranian courts, Wang was accused of pursuing espionage "through the cover of being a researcher". Wang is a graduate student from Princeton University who was studying the Qajar dynasty. Wang is one of the several Americans arrested by Iran.

Iran has sentenced an American citizen to jail on alleged spying charges.

Karan Vafadari, an Iranian-American art gallery manager, was detained along with his Iranian wife a year ago.

The deputy judiciary chief, Mr Ejehi, also said on Sunday that a United States citizen accused of "infiltration" in Iran had been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Washington also requires the cooperation of Tehran in the case of Robert Levinson, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, missing in Iran since 2007.

A Chinese American accused of "infiltration" in Iran has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, local media reported on Sunday. While remaining USA sanctions have slowed economic gains promised by the accord, signs that global interest in Iran is growing have disturbed some hardliners, who foresee their power waning.

In October 2016, Reza "Robin" Shahini of San Diego was sentenced to 18 years in prison for spying.

"Xiyue Wang is a fourth-year doctoral the Department of History at Princeton University", the prestigious university in that state of New Jersey said in a statement e-mailed to Britain's The Guardian newspaper.

The university, in a statement, said that Xiyue, 37, a USA citizen, had been in that country "doing scholarly research on the administrative and cultural history of the late Qajar dynasty in connection with his Ph.D. dissertation".

The State Department has called on Iran to release all foreign citizens it's holding unjustly so they can return to their families.

"We call for the immediate release of all USA citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families", a State Department official told Fox News.

Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution says these sorts of arrests and prison sentences are a persistent risk in Iran, especially for individuals traveling on their own, students and dual nationals.

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