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Iran sentences American to death for spying

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Reuters TV

(Read caption) Iranian-American Amir Mirza Hekmati, who has been sentenced to death by Iran's Revolutionary Court on the charge of spying for the CIA, speaks during a recorded interview in an undisclosed location, in this undated still image taken from video made available to Reuters TV on January 9.

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Iran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced an Iranian-American to death for espionage today. A former US Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, is accused of receiving training from the US Central Intelligence Agency and attempting to infiltrate Iranian intelligence services. Mr. Hekmati said that he was only in Iran to visit his grandmother and denied all charges of spying.

News of the conviction comes at a time when tensions between the US and Iran are already high. Most recently, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a critical waterway for global energy supplies, and the situation with Hekmati is likely to strain relations still further.

“As with any case involving espionage, there’s no way to know the truth behind either side of the story, but regardless of the facts, the sentencing will only heighten tensions between two countries who don’t need another reason to hate each other,” writes The Atlantic's Dashiell Bennett.

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