U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned a reported move by Iran to sentence a former U.S. Marine and dual U.S.-Iranian citizen to death for allegedly spying on behalf of the U.S. “If true, we strongly condemn this verdict,” Nuland said, adding, “Allegations that [Amir Mirzaei] Hekmati either worked for, or was sent to Iran by the CIA, are simply untrue.” The family of the 28-year-old Arizona-born ex-Marine said he was innocent of the charges. Iran executes more people than any country other than China.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) called on Iran’s judiciary to overturn the sentence, which it says is the first time Iran has condemned an American citizen to death through its judicial system. “We are seriously concerned regarding the death sentence, secrecy, and continued lack of transparency surrounding the prosecution of Iranian-American citizen Amir Hekmati,” said ICHRI spokesman Hadi Ghaemi.
Amnesty International also calls on Iran to halt the execution.