USA citizen sentenced to 10 years in Iran for spying

Amos Gonzales
July 17, 2017

A Chinese-American graduate student at Princeton sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran for allegedly "infiltrating" the country and sending confidential material overseas is innocent of all charges against him, his professor said Monday.

Wang was arrested in Iran last summer while doing scholarly research in connection with his Ph.D. dissertation, a university statement said.

Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, spokesman for Iran's judiciary gave his name saying he had,"spider connections" with American and British intelligence agencies.

"The Iranian regime continues to detain U.S. citizens and other foreigners on fabricated national-security related changes", a press statement from the state department said.

The spokesperson of the justice, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejeie, has not specified the identity of the U.s. or the date of his arrest or provided details on this "infiltration missions".

The Iranian official further said that the issued sentence is tentative and can be appealed for a review.

The case of the individual, the Iranian spokesman said, had later been taken up by a court of first instance, which sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

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Meanwhile, Iran also detained President Hassan Rouhani's brother over allegations of financial misconduct, authorities said. Still, the State Department has repeatedly warned against the dangers of Americans traveling to Iran. "The safety and security of United States citizens remains a top priority".

Since Wang's arrest previous year, Princeton University has quietly worked with his family, the USA government and others to help facilitate his release.

The report by Mizanonline said Wang "was able to digitally archive 4,500 pages of the country's documents, while under covert surveillance".

According to an informed source, the spy is a 37-year-old Chinese-born American dual national with a good command on Persian language who had been trying to access Iran's classified documents under the guise of a historical researcher.

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 D.C. and has done work for the US government. In October, 80-year-old former UNICEF official Baquer Namazi, an Iranian-American, and his business consultant son Siamak Namazi, were handed 10-year prison terms for "espionage and collaboration with the American government".

Washington has repeatedly called for their release and also for Tehran's cooperation in the case of Robert Levinson, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007.

Other reports by BadHub

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