An American citizen who was arrested in Iran in December and charged with spying has been sentenced to death by Tehran's Revolutionary Court.
Tehran's Revolutionary Court has issued the death sentence for Iranian-American Amir Mirzayee Hekmati, FARSreported on Jan. 9. The 28-year-old former U.S. Marine Arabic translator was found guilty of "cooperation with an enemy government, membership in the CIA and attempts to accuse Iran of supporting terrorism."
The death sentence has yet to be confirmed by Iran's highest court. Alarbayiareported judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei said "The court found him Corrupt on the Earth and Mohareb (one who wages war on God). Hekmati can appeal to the Supreme Court.” Hekmati has 20 days to appeal against his sentence.
According to Hekmati's family in America he was visiting his grandparents in Iran at the time of his arrest in December. They say that Hekmati had no access to a lawyer until the day of his trial. According to theBBC, Swiss diplomats who serve U.S. citizens' interests in Iran were denied access to him. In his televised confession, Hekmati said "I was deceived by the CIA... Although I was appointed to break into Iran's intelligence systems and act as a new source for the CIA, I had no intention of undermining the country."
Washington has demanded that Hekmati be released, saying he has been falsely accused. Hekmati is likely to become a political pawn as tensions increase between the U.S.and Iran over sanctions and the Strait of Hormuz.