Iran: Death Penalty Asked for ‘American Spy’

December 28, 2011  

An American man who has been accused by Iran of working for the CIA could face the death penalty, the Fars news agency reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the prosecution applied for capital punishment during a closed court hearing on Tuesday.

The reason cited for requesting the death penalty was because the suspect, who has been identified as Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, “admitted that he received training in the United States and planned to imply that Iran was involved in terrorist activities in foreign countries” after returning to the U.S.

The prosecutor said Hekmati entered Iran’s intelligence department three times.

Hekmati, whose family is of Iranian origin, was arrested on December 17 on suspicion of spying for the United States.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry claimed that the country’s secret services had previously identified Hekmati at the Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, the main base for American and other international forces outside Kabul.

Iranian state television later showed footage of Hekmati confessing to his “mission” to infiltrate the intelligence ministry. He reportedly repeated that confession in court, prosecutors told Fars.

The Fars report said Hekmati’s lawyer denied the charges, saying Iranian intelligence blocked Hekmati from infiltrating and adding that under Iranian law, intention to infiltrate is not a crime.

The lawyer said Hekmati was deceived by the CIA.

The United States has denied that Hekmati is a spy and has called on the Iranian government to release him “without delay.”

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