News24

Iran sentences US man to death for spying

2012-01-09 11:15

Tehran - An American ex-Marine, who also holds Iranian citizenship, has been sentenced to death by an Iran judge for spying for the CIA, the Fars news agency reported on Monday.

Amir Mirzai Hekmati, 28, was "sentenced to death for co-operating with a hostile nation, membership of the CIA and trying to implicate Iran in terrorism", the verdict said, according to Fars.

Hekmati, who was born in the US 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.

He had been arrested months earlier.

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

But Hekmati's family in the US told US media he had travelled to Iran to visit his Iranian grandmothers and he was not a spy.

In his sole trial hearing, on December 27, prosecutors relied on Hekmati's "confession" to say he tried to penetrate the intelligence ministry by posing as a disaffected former US soldier with classified information to give.

The US has demanded Hekmati's release.

The State Department said Iran has not permitted diplomats from the Swiss embassy - which handles US interests in the absence of US-Iran ties - to see Hekmati before or during his trial.

Comments
  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-09 11:33

    Oh boy do these Iranian clowns not realise how this is gonna impact them. Kill this guy and America will bomb the crap outta them in a heartbeat. The Americans are looking for any excuse to go to war with Iran.

      Mr Kcopah - 2012-01-09 12:13

      not really Ivan..they're actually exploring all options NOT to go at war..they cant afford to and also..1/3 of all oil tankers pass near iran..

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-09 12:29

      Lets watch this space.

      Juan - 2012-01-09 17:00

      Oh really, do South Africans lay away milkshakes? Unemployment rate for SA = 25%; unemployment rate for US 8%

      Antonio - 2012-01-20 22:17

      TO SOME EXTENT I DO AGREE WITH IVAN, IN FACT IRAN IS PROVOKING A CONFRONTATION. BUT WE MUST REMEMBER THE RUSSIAN WARNING ABOUT SEEING A MILITARY ATTACK ON THEIR NEIGHBOUR AS A POTENTIAL SECURITY TO THEMSELVES.THAT ALONE IS A SERIOUS WARNING TO U.S.A. TO RESTRAIN FROM MILITARY INTERVENTION IN IRAN. I THINK IT WOULD TRIGGER A WORLD WAR.THEREFORE IRAN IS FEELING WELL PROTECTED!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-09 12:01

    no country in the world would acknowledge its spy's once apprehended on foreign soil, why should the US be any different. Hopefully westerners will soon wake up to the direct and imminent threat the US poses to world peace. This has nothing to do with anything other than oil and the US's total reliance on net oil imports.

      Alfred - 2012-01-09 12:15

      Do you think that a guy like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been quoted as saying that Israel must be wiped off the face of the planet, is developing nuclear technologies to power bunny stroking machines? Obviously oil is a factor too but Iran has threatened to close a strait in the gulf that links the US to their suppliers in the middle east. That's one sure way to pick a fight with the US. Americans obviously aren't saints either but they're miles ahead of Iran. In fact, I'd love to hear just how you're going to defend a country who holds public executions at football stadiums before kickoff.

      Malcolm - 2012-01-09 12:36

      In the words of Jimmy Carter in 1979: We will defend our friends and interests abroad. Oil IS one of the U.S interests and any attempt from Iran to disrupt the flow of oil will be unsuccessful.

  • mdy.chauke - 2012-01-09 12:19

    There's no excuse for spying a sovereign country like Iran,the man deserve to be penalised but to which extent only the Iranian authorities can decide.

  • Aaron - 2012-01-09 12:33

    then hang the granny as well

  • Deon - 2012-01-09 13:07

    The trial lasted 1 day, chances are slim that it was fair. Iran is looking for trouble.

  • Graziella - 2012-01-09 13:15

    Spying on another country is an act of war. There are hundreds of Cubans languishing in US jails sentenced to life for alleged spying. The US has executed known spies in the past.

      Graziella - 2012-01-09 14:16

      Still, can't be having any sort of knowledgeable discourse or rational debate. There's a large arrow, probably blue, in the top left-hand corner of your browser window, pointing left. Click on that.

      Heiku - 2012-01-09 14:19

      Uh.. why? Cause she's a Mike Tyson fan? That's not fair. He was/is a very good boxer.

      Juan - 2012-01-09 17:03

      Yes so? Spying is a risky business

      Jaba - 2012-01-09 22:35

      Her profile is bogus so what’s the point... She’s a racist b!*%k nothing more...

  • Lordwick - 2012-01-09 14:48

    Iran has been on America's hit list.....and as a matter of fact all oilrich countries are except for the conquered like iraq and Libya!!! I hate America so much!!!

      Graziella - 2012-01-09 14:51

      It's its neocon foreign policies that I detest the most.

      Juan - 2012-01-09 17:05

      America pays the international ruling price for oil. And America had a very minor role in Libya, it was mainlay France and the UK's baby

  • Claude - 2012-01-09 14:58

    This seems to be the beginning of something much bigger and more serious to come. The Arab world is waiting to join their brethren in yet another so called Jihad against the US. What people fail to see is might Iran be a small and some what weak country... They will get backing from other richer and a bit more advanced countries. War is once again threatening world peace and the earth as we know it.

      Graziella - 2012-01-09 15:06

      And who is at the centre of this threat, again? Americans seem to have a need for a cosmic enemy to fight and eliminate. The Native Americans, the Soviets,the Serbs,the Vietnamese, the Muslims recently, and apparently now the Chinese if anyone is to make anything from the rhetoric coming from Washington. Why this should be, I do not know.

      Juan - 2012-01-09 17:16

      @Graziella the cold war was a battle between idiologies. Freedom vs communist oppretion. You should be very glad America fought these wars, otherwise you would have lived under the red flag. There would have been no such thing as a democracy, or freedoms we now take for granted

      Graziella - 2012-01-09 17:29

      My point exactly because Americans believe that it is their destiny to Americanise other countries. It's what they mean when they talk about foreign markets. Muslims who have a different clothing style and culture will not respond positively to American culture and would be spending their money elsewhere and not on American products. Hence it becomes important for American to change the culture of these un-Americanised people.

      Juan - 2012-01-09 18:56

      @Graziella now that is bull crap in a bucket. There are millions of Muslim expats living in the USA, so I guess they don't respond very well to American culture lol.

      Graziella - 2012-01-09 22:01

      I'm referring to the Middle East as a region.

  • Henning - 2012-01-09 15:24

    The punishment does not fit the crime, I do not believe this man had a fair trial. Hopefully this will put more international pressure on Iran from more countries, not just the west.

      Juan - 2012-01-09 17:19

      Well most countries would differ on your take. Spies usually get a bullet in the brain if they are not so lucky or a life sentence if they are very lucky.

  • Barry - 2012-01-09 19:19

    I wonder what wonder happen to a Iranian guy caught spying in the USA. I think probably the same. It time the USA stop their war mongering and get out of the middle east.

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