A court in Tehran has sentenced an American ex-Marine to death for espionage and “working for an enemy country.” The semi-official Iranian news agency Fars reports 28-year-old Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, who was arrested last August while visiting family, was convicted of participating in the CIA’s “efforts to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism.” Fars claims Hekmati confessed his involvement with the CIA to the judge.
“I was deceived by the CIA,” he allegedly said in a confession. “Although I was appointed to break into Iran’s intelligence systems and act as a new source for the CIA, I had no intention of undermining the country.”
Hekmati’s parents release a statement proclaiming their son’s innocence and declaring a “grave error” has been made by Iran. U.S. officials have also demanded his release.
“Amir did not engage in any acts of spying, or ‘fighting against God,’ as the convicting judge has claimed in his sentence. Amir is not a criminal. His very life is being exploited for political gain,” the Hekmatis said in a statement. “A grave error has been committed, and we have authorized our legal representatives to make direct contact with the Iranian authorities to find a solution to this misunderstanding. We pray that Iran will show compassion and not murder our son, Amir, a natural born American citizen, who was visiting Iran and his relatives for the first time.”
Hekmati served as an Arabic translator in the Marines from 2001 to 2005. After leaving the military he started a linguistics company. TransWorldNews