American citizen sentenced to prison in Iran for spying

American citizen sentenced to prison in Iran for spying

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has imprisoned a Chinese-American guy for ten years after accusing him of “infiltrating” the rustic and detained President Hassan Rouhani’s brother over allegations of monetary misconduct, government mentioned Sunday.

Information of the detentions comes not up to months after relative reasonable Rouhani beat a hard-line opponent to win reelection by running in huge section on his document of pursuing greater engagement with the West. They had been introduced by way of the judiciary, a pillar of onerous-liners’ affect.

The Chinese Language-American twin national used to be known as Xiyue Wang, a 37-yr-antique history researcher, in keeping with Mizan Online, a web site affiliated with the judiciary.

He used to be now not up to now identified to be some of the handful of americans detained in Iran.

“It was once established and decided that he was once amassing (knowledge) and used to be concerned about infiltration,” Judiciary spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejehi mentioned throughout a routine press briefing.

Ejehi didn’t identify Wang via title. But hours after he spoke, Mizan published an editorial attributed to an unnamed source that exposed his id and included a couple of photos of him it sounds as if taken from the internet.

The Mizan article said he was once born in Beijing and entered Iran as a researcher. It pointed to graduate research he did at Princeton University in 2013 and 2014, and described him as a fluent speaker of Persian. Princeton had no quick comment.

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Wang was once arrested on Aug. EIGHT, 2016 and is accused of passing personal details about Iran to the U.S. State Division, Princeton’s Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Heart for Iran and Persian Gulf Research, the Harvard Kennedy School and the British Institute of Persian Research, consistent with Mizan. It alleged he recorded a few 4,500 pages of virtual files.

The U.S. State Division was once not right away capable of provide main points at the case. It said its citizens’ protection and security is a most sensible priority.

The U.S. does not care for formal diplomatic relations with Tehran and warns its voters traveling there that they chance arrest or being barred from leaving Iran.

“The Iranian regime maintains to detain U.S. voters and different foreigners on fabricated national-safety similar adjustments,” it said in a press release to The Associated Press. “We call for the instant release of all U.S. electorate unjustly detained in Iran so that they can return to their families.”

The arrest of the president’s brother, meanwhile, stunned many in Iran.

Ejehi stated the brother, Hossein Fereidoun, was taken into custody over allegations of financial impropriety and is eligible for bail, but has no longer paid it but.

Fereidoun is a detailed confidante of the moderate president, a cleric who modified his surname to Rouhani, that means “spiritual,” after becoming a member of the seminary many years in the past.

Fereidoun was part of the negotiating staff that in the long run sealed Iran’s landmark nuclear care for international powers in 2015, successful the country relief from global sanctions in change for limits on its atomic energy program.

The deal used to be unpopular with Iranian arduous-liners, whose influence runs deep within the judiciary. They saw the nuclear deal as giving an excessive amount of away in trade for too little.

Fereidoun has lengthy been a objective of onerous-liners, who have accused him of misdeeds together with money laundering and misappropriation of government finances.

The unproven allegations have been a flashpoint during the May presidential election, with the president’s laborious-line challengers challenging that the judiciary investigate accusations against Fereidoun.

Wang is one among a couple of Americans in Iranian custody.

Iranian-American artwork gallery supervisor Karan Vafadari was once detained along with his Iranian wife last 12 months. they’ve but to be convicted of a criminal offense.

Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his 81-12 months-vintage father, Baquer Namazi, are each and every serving 10-yr sentences for “cooperating with the hostile American govt.”

Another Iranian-American, Robin Shahini, was released on bail last yr after staging a weeks-lengthy hunger strike while serving an 18-year prison sentence for “collaboration with a antagonistic govt.”

Nonetheless missing is former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorized CIA mission.

Also in an Iranian prison is Nizar Zakka, a U.S. everlasting resident from Lebanon who advocates for internet freedom. He lives in Washington D.C. and has done paintings for the U.S. govt. He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars remaining year after being accused of espionage-similar charges.

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