Iran sentences American man to death in CIA case

January 9, 2012

The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian court has convicted an American man of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death, state radio reported Monday.

Iran charges that as a former U.S. Marine, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati received special training and served at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for his alleged intelligence mission.

The radio report did not say when the verdict was issued. Under Iranian law, he has 20 days to appeal.

Hekmati, 28, was born in Arizona. His family is of Iranian origin. His father, who lives in Michigan, said his son is not a CIA spy and was visiting his grandmothers in Iran when he was arrested.

The U.S. State Department has demanded his release.

The court convicted him of working with a hostile country, belonging to the CIA and trying to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism, Monday's report said.