zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Jul 16, 2017
With diplomatic relations between the US and Iran – a state Donald Trump has repeatedly accused of being a “state sponsor of terrorism” – alrady near rock bottom, on Sunday they took another turn for the worse after a United States citizen accused of “infiltration” in Iran was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“This person, who was gathering information and was directly guided by America, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the sentence can be appealed,” deputy judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie said in a televised press conference quoted by Reuters, adding that “rhe person was identified and arrested by the intelligence forces.” The foreigner holds dual nationality of the United States and another country, he said, promising to give more details once the appeals court confirms the sentence.
As Reuters adds, it was not immediately clear whether Mohseni Ejei was referring to Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen with permanent U.S. residency, who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $4.2 million fine after he was found guilty of collaborating against the state, according to his U.S.-based lawyer who spoke to reporters in September.
Early in January, Tehran’s chief prosecutor said as many as 70 “spies” were serving sentences in the city’s prisons, the identities of only a handful of which have been made public. Most are thought to be Iranians who hold another passport from Europe or the United States. As we reported at the time, last October, US-Iranian business consultant Siamak Namazi and his 80-year-old father Baquer, a former UNICEF official, were given 10 years in prison for “espionage and collaboration with the American government”.