Iran sentences American citizen to 10 year prison term

Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’i, the spokesman for the Iranian Judiciary, declared in his weekly press conference that Fereydoun, the president’s brother and top aide, was sent to prison after he failed to put up the bail set by the Judiciary on Saturday, according to reports in Iranian media.

An unidentified Iranian-American was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a spying case, an Iranian official said Sunday.

He did not provide details on the suspect’s identity, saying only that the person was a dual national holding American citizenship and that of another country.

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

Another Iranian-American, Robin Shahini, was released on bond last year after staging a weekslong hunger strike while serving an 18-year prison sentence for “collaboration with a hostile government”.

He said the person was a citizen of the United States and an unnamed country other than Iran.

Reports said Wang was researching in Iran for his doctoral thesis on the administrative and cultural history of the late Qajar dynasty and had been missing for some months.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have heightened since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Wang, a history student studying 19th- and early-20th-century Eurasian history, is one of several Americans in Iranian custody, including Iranian-American art gallery manager Karan Vafadari and his wife, and Iranian-American art gallery manager Karan Vafadari.

“The American spy arrested in Iran was also at the centre and his mission was to collect confidential information and documents”, Mizan said, adding that he had copied 4,500 documents.

Later, Fars News, again citing Mohseni-Ejheie, said he was a citizen of the United States and a country other than Iran.

University officials said the school has been working with his family, the USA government, private counsel and others to facilitate his release.

Mizanonline published an excerpt from a British Institute of Persian Studies annual report, in which Wang thanked its librarian for helping him make contact with academics in Iran.

Also Sunday, the brother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was detained for unspecified financial crimes, the judicial spokesman said.

Still missing is former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorised Central Intelligence Agency mission. At least three other Americans are thought to be imprisoned in Iran although the number could be higher.

Morello reported from Washington.