Conflict & Justice

Iran sentences American ex-Marine Amir Mirzaei Hekmati to death for spying


Iranian women hold pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei outside the former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2011, during a rally to mark the storming of the American embassy by Iranian students 32 years ago.


Atta Kenare

An American ex-Marine, who also holds Iranian citizenship, has been sentenced to death by Iran's Revolutionary Court for spying for the CIA, the semi-official Fars news agency has reported.

Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, 28, was "sentenced to death for cooperating with a hostile nation [the US], membership of the CIA and trying to implicate Iran in terrorism," Agence France Presse reported the verdict as saying, citing Fars.

"The court found him Corrupt on Earth and Mohareb [waging war on God]."

Hekmati was arrested in August and Iran's Intelligence Ministry accused him of receiving training at US bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reuters reported.

Iranian officials said his cover was blown by agents for Iran who spotted him at the US-run Bagram military air base in neighboring Afghanistan.


Hekmati, who was born in the United States to an Iranian immigrant family, was shown on Iranian state television in mid-December saying in fluent Farsi and English that he was a Central Intelligence Agency operative sent to infiltrate the Iranian intelligence ministry.

(GlobalPost reports: Amir Hekmati, Iranian American, in Tehran court over US spy allegations)

The US government said in December, when Hekmati's trial began, that he had been falsely accused and demanded his immediate release, AFP reported at the time.

It also said that the Swiss embassy, which represents US interests in Iran, had not been given access to him.

Separately, Iran on Sunday said it had arrested several spies who sought to carry out US plans and disrupt upcoming parliamentary elections.

In another article, Fars quoted Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi as saying that "the espionage agents were planning to disrupt the elections, using guidelines communicated to them from outside."