Iran jails US dual national for 10 years on spying charges

An American student Xiyue Wang sentences 10 years in Iran for spying charges

Iran Jails Princeton Ph.D. Student as Spy

An American citizen has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran after being accused of "spying under the cover of research", according to local reports.

Iran has sentenced a man with dual Chinese and American citizenship to prison for allegedly "infiltrating" the country. "The court has sentenced the person to 10 years", Mr Ejeie said, adding that the unnamed individual had appealed the sentence.

The judiciary's Mizan News Agency said Wang had "spider connections" with USA and British intelligence services.

"It provided the field information in the form of articles-public, confidential and very confidential to the research team from the american State department", according to this agency, which published his photo.

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

"Xiyue Wang is a remarkable, linguistically gifted graduate student studying late 19th- and early 20th-century governance in predominantly Muslim regions - Qajar Iran, Afghanistan, imperial Russian Turkestan", he said.

"The Iranian regime continues to detain United States citizens and other foreigners on fabricated national security-related charges", a USA official said.

In August 2016, Iran reportedly arrested another person, also with dual citizenships, accusing him of linking to Britain's foreign intelligence service MI6.

Under the previous administration, the United States and other world powers negotiated a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Brother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Hossein Fereydoon, the arrested on suspicion of financial crimes.

He gave no other details about the Iranian-American, including the gender, the arrest and the dates of the trial.

"We continue to use all the means at our disposal to advocate for USA citizens who need our assistance overseas especially for the release of any unjustly detained USA citizens held overseas".

Others being detained include Iranian-American art gallery manager Karan Vafadari and his wife, Afarin Niasari, who have been held since last year, and Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi, who are serving 10-year sentences after being convicted of espionage in November.

Washington has repeatedly called for their release and for Tehran's cooperation in the case of Robert Levinson, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007.

Permanent residents do not hold American citizenship, but they have the right to live in the USA indefinitely and are eligible to apply for it after living in the country for several years.

Morello reported from Washington.

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