US citizen sentence death penalty in Iran: First since Iranian revolution
The Obama administration has categorically rejected Monday an Iranian-American young man used a family trip to Iran as a cover for espionage, after Iran issued the death penalty first against an American citizen since the Islamic Revolution 33 years ago.
The United States suggested that the decision was a political ploy.
In a case likely to increase tensions with Tehran, Iran Amir Mirzaei Hekmatyar accused of having received special training and service in the U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before traveling to Iran for an intelligence mission. A court found him guilty of belonging to the CIA and trying to involve Iran in terrorist activities, according to a report on the state radio Monday.
The United States has denied the allegations. The State Department has called a
“complete fabrication” and spokesman for the White House Tommy Vietor said that “the allegations that Mr. Hekmatyar either worked or was sent to Iran by the CIA are false.”
“The Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, to obtain forced confessions, and the holding of innocent Americans for political reasons,” Vietor said in a statement.
The case highlights the legal movement, but risky for U.S. citizens in Iran, spread among the first generation and second generation Iranian-Americans, but largely hidden practice the largest population of America. Thousands are expected to make the trip each year, although the State Department does not have precise figures because people must travel through third countries, most of which dual nationality passport to enter the Islamic RepublicIranian.
The State Department warned U.S. citizens and Iran are not necessarily safer than others to the threat of arbitrary arrest.President, Victoria Nuland, the U.S. said has published a series of travel warnings for Americans, with specific reference to holders of American and Iranian citizenship.
“We urge the Iranian Americans to take special care,” Nuland told reporters. Because the Iranian authorities do not recognize dual nationality, they treat these people as they would other Iranian detainees. The U.S. said last warning travel to face Iranian-American “the risk of being attacked” by Tehran and said that “The Iranian authorities have arrested and harassed U.S. citizens of Iranian origin.”
The 28-year-Hekmatyar, a former military translator, who was born in Arizona and high school in Michigan. His family is of Iranian origin, and Hekmatyar said dual citizenship. His father, Ali, a professor at a community college in Flint, Mich., said his son was visiting his grandmother in Iran.
The Marines said Amir Nema Hekmatyar served between 2001 and 2005, including a deployment to Iraq in 2004 and a stint in the military language institute in Monterey, California. The records do not show the sailors deployed to Afghanistan. It is unclear why the second name was included in a different way.
Hekmatyar Behnaz, Amir’s mother, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that she and her husband are “shocked and dismayed” that his son was sentenced to death. The verdict is “the result of a process that was transparent and fair, “he said.
Your child will not participate in an act of espionage, or “the” fight against God, “the judge said in his decision,” he said. “Amir is not a criminal. His own life is used for political purposes. “
He said he had also worked for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and military Kuma Games, which state television described as “a computer game company, which received money from the CIA to design and conducting special films and computer games to change the mentality of the public about the Middle East and free distribution to residents of the Middle East. The aim of Kuma Games has been to convince people of the world and Iraq the U.S. did in Iraq and other countries is good and acceptable. ”
Web company she describes as an episodic game specialist in the story line is of course developed games such as episodes of television. Many of their products are the subject of war. Espionage charges against Hekmatyar are similar to previous methods against Americans who were sentenced to prison and released, including an Iranian-American journalist in 2009 and three U.S. citizens arrested at the border with Iraq. Iranian prosecutors, however, insisted on Hekmatyar link to the U.S. military to seek the death penalty.
State Department officials said they had no knowledge of any punishment the death penalty by an American in Iran. Nuland said authorities were still trying to learn the details of the sentence. If Hekmatyar was actually sentenced to death, he said, the United States condemns the verdict “in the strongest terms.”But she declined to comment on what further steps the U.S. might take in response.
Iran and the United States is currently locked in a period of intense hostility, a situation that bodes ill for an early release of Hekmatyar.
The Obama administration has approved new sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear enrichment program, especially the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic and its ability to sell oil abroad, despite the sanctions are not yet entered into force. Iran has responded to warnings against American ships in the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway that leads to the market as oil from the Middle East.
With both countries facing charges that Iran has supported international terrorism, U.S. officials fear that if Hekmatyar could become a political tool for the Iranian government.
After imposing the sentence immediately worse, Iran might try to drag the folder. In previous cases of Iran was able to release American prisoners on humanitarian grounds, probably with the hope of obtaining an award against Washington. Launch in September a couple of hikers American prisoners in Iran for two years is the latest example.
Obama passed the new U.S. sanctions against Iran on the eve of New Year, despite fears that his government could lead to higher world oil prices or to cause economic problems for U.S. allies in Europe and Asia that oil import from Iran.
The measures affecting foreign financial institutions doing business with the Central Bank of Iran by preventing them from doing business in the United States. This would apply to foreign central banks, as well as for oil transactions.
The sanctions have no effect for six months. Or he can give for reasons of national security or the country in question significantly reduce their purchases of Iranian oil. The State Department says it is trying to enforce the law in a way that maximizes the pressure on Tehran, while causing minimal disruption to the United States and its allies.
The White House said the work of the United States with its diplomatic partners “to express our condemnation of the Iranian government.”
Swiss diplomats, acting on behalf of the United States because Washington and Tehran have no diplomatic relations, have tried in vain to obtain consular access to Hekmatyar. Because Iran does not recognize the U.S. citizenship Hekmatyar, refused to allow access.