Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Court system sentenced two unnamed persons on espionage charges, alleging the two were spying for both the United States and Israel. The sentences passed down were ten years for each defendant.
“These two people were sentenced to 10 years in jail by the Revolutionary Court,” Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.
No further details were issued by the Iranian Ministry of Justice.
Of particular concern is the fate of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.
Rezaian, an Iranian-American journalist held in Iran since his 2014 arrest on espionage charges, had been held on “unspecified charges” until April when Tehran announced he had been charged with spying, collaborating with hostile governments and propaganda against the establishment.
Rezaian, who has worked as the Post’s Tehran correspondent since 2012, was seized along with his Iranian wife, also a journalist for The National, and two others in 2014 in a raid inspired by “security” concerns.
Iran is notorious for its secrecy, ambiguous charges and preventing the accused from legal representation in legal matters. Islamic Court spokesman, Mohseni Ejei, said he was unaware of if a verdict had been reached in Mr. Rezaian’s matter, “But the final session took place two weeks ago.”
Mr. Rezaian’s attorney, Leila Ahsan was quoted by Iranian State TV as saying: “I said I suppose a verdict has been issued by now, but I have no further information.”
“Our understanding is the judiciary spokesman said later that he had no new information on Jason,” the Post’s foreign editor, Douglas Jehl, said in a statement: “For that reason, we believe that Jason was not among those whose sentences, but not identities, were announced today.”
Perhaps there is some hope for Mr. Rezaian.
[NYTimes] [Reuters] Photo courtesy BBC]