Iranian court sentenced U.S. dual national for 10 years for spying

FILE PHOTO: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi attends a news conference in Kirkuk, Iraq, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed/File Photo

Vastavam web: An Iranian court has sentenced a U.S. dual national to 10 years in jail on spying charges, Iran’s judiciary spokesman said on Sunday, the latest case involving dual citizens held on security charges in the country.The spokesman did not name the person or give any details about when the sentence was passed but said the person was a citizen of the United States and an unnamed country other than Iran.Mizan, the Iranian judiciary’s official news site, later identified the American as Xiyue Wang, whom it said is a 37-year-old Beijing-born historian at Princeton University who was “spying under the cover of research”.

The U.S. State Department did not identify its jailed citizen, but accused Iran of fabricating national security-related charges to detain Americans and other foreigners.Xiyue was also active at the university’s Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, which Mizan said has links to Western intelligence agencies and Israel.”The American spy arrested in Iran was also at the center and his mission was to collect confidential information and documents,” Mizan said, adding that he had copied 4,500 documents.Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers lifted most international sanctions and promised Iran’s reintegration into the global community in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

The potential detente with the West has alarmed Iranian hardliners, who have seen a flood of European trade and investment delegations arrive in Tehran to discuss possible deals, according to Iran experts.The arrests have undermined Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s goals of reviving business and political ties with the West, as well as pushing for more political and social reforms at home, Iran experts and observers said.