Sunday 23rd July, 2017
iran-sentences-chinese-american-to-10-years-in-prison-for-espionage
An Iranian court has sentenced a Chinese-American man arrested last year to 10 years in prison on 'infiltration' charges, Iran's judicial spokesman said Sunday.

'The person was identified and arrested by the intelligence forces. The court has sentenced the person to 10 years,' deputy judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie said.

The man held by the Iranians was named by Mizan Online, a news agency operated by the Iranian judiciary, Xiyue Wang, 37, a dual national of China and the United States. ((http://www.mizanonline.ir/fa/about ))

The deputy judiciary chief did not identify Xijue Wang by name. But hours after the televised news conference in Tehran, Mizan published an article that named the prisoner and included several photows of him, apparently taken from the internet.

The Iranian account, attributed to an unnamed source, said Xijue Wang was born in Beijing, had been a graduate student at Princetgon University in the United States and entered Iran as a researcher. It also described him as a fluent speaker of Persian.

In New Jersey, spokesmen for Princeton University had no immediate comment.

The Mizan report said Wang was arrested on August 8, 2016, and was accused of passing confidential information about Iran to the U.S. State Department, to Princeton's Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, to the Harvard Kennedy School and to the British Institute of Persian Studies.

The news comes at a tense time in Iran-U.S. relations, which have drastically deteriorated since President Donald Trump has placed U.S. participation in the nuclear deal with Iran on review. The historic nuclear deal Tehran reached with several world powers and the administration of former President Barack Obama was hailed as a breakthrough in the quest to stem Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Iran has detained and sentenced several dual nationals from the United States, Britain, Austria, Canada, and France for charges including espionage and collaborating with hostile governments.

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