US Navy veteran sentenced to 10 years in Iran: Lawyer

17 Mars, 2019, 07:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • US Navy veteran sentenced to 10 years in Iran: Lawyer

A USA citizen has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars after a trial in Iran, his lawyer said.

The American man was reportedly charged with insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting a private photograph publicly, according to The Guardian.

The family learned of the sentence earlier this week from the U.S. state department, which in turn received the information from Swiss diplomats.

Iran, which in the past has used its detention of Westerners and dual nationals as leverage in negotiations, has yet to report on White's sentence in state-controlled media.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Commenting on the new twist in the White's case, the US State Department said it was keeping tabs on the situation, stressing that there has been "no higher priority" for Washington than the "safety and security of US citizens overseas".

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Jonathan Franks, a White family spokesman, said the family had been told that White has been beaten and interrogated about his naval service and Iranian officials have refused to let him contact family.

The New York Times, which first reported the sentencing, said White had been given two court hearings, on March 6 and March 9. It remains hard for Americans to get visas to Iran, 40 years after the Islamic Revolution and the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis. "But we're more in a confused state than an aware state". White had been imprisoned at Iran's Vakilabad Prison, known for its execution of drug traffickers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Currently, Iran holds three United States nationals - Siamak Namazi, Baquer Namazi, and Xiyue Wan - on charges of espionage and sedition, according to The New York Times. Iranian-American art dealer Karan Vafadari and his Iranian wife, Afarin Neyssari, received 27-year and 16-year prison sentences, respectively.

Graduate student Xiyue Wang was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly "infiltrating" the country while doing doctoral research on Iran's Qajar dynasty.

The last time Iran released any imprisoned Americans was when the global accord on Iran's nuclear programme took effect in January 2016. He was sentenced to 10 years on espionage-related charges.

A fourth, former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Robert Levinson, has been missing in Iran since 2007.

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