Mar
05

Iranian court dismisses death sentence against American ‘spy’

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Arizona-born Amir Mirza Hekmati, 28, had been accused of spying for the CIA and receiving training at US bases in Afghanistan and Iraq

Iran’s supreme court has dismissed the death sentence passed against an Iranian-American man accused of spying for the CIA, and called for judicial review of the case according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

“The supreme court nullified the execution sentence against Amir Mirza Hekmati and sent it to an affiliate court,” said judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei without giving further details.

Hekmati, a 28-year-old of Iranian descent born in the state of Arizona, was arrested in December and Iran’s Intelligence Ministry accused him of receiving training at US bases in neighbouring Afghanistan and Iraq.

The United States urged Iran to grant Hekmati access to legal counsel and to release him without delay.

Iran’s judiciary said Hekmati admitted to having links with the CIA but denied any intention of harming Iran, which has had no relations with the US since the 1979 revolution.

The US state department has said Iran did not permit diplomats from the Swiss Embassy, which represents US interests in Iran, to see him before or during his trial.

Hekmati graduated from a Michigan high school. His father Ali is a professor at a community college in Flint, Michigan.

Iran, which often accuses its foes of trying to destabilise its Islamic system, said in May it had arrested 30 people on suspicion of spying for the United States and later 15 people were indicted for spying for Washington and Israel.

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