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Iranian-American journalist convicted: Post condemns 'grievous wrong'

Jason Rezaian wrote for the Washington Post, whose editor denounced his conviction, announced over the weekend, as an 'outrageous injustice.'

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Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian speaks in the newspaper's offices in Washington, DC, Nov. 6, 2013. Rezaian, the Post's bureau chief in Tehran, was detained last year in Iran and charged with 'collaborating with hostile governments' and 'propaganda against the establishment.'

Courtesy of Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post/Reuters/File

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The Washington Post on Monday denounced the espionage conviction of the newspaper's American-born Tehran correspondent and urged Iran's leaders to overturn it.

Jason Rezaian, who was arrested in July 2014, had 20 days to appeal the verdict, the Iranian news service ISNA cited a judiciary spokesman as saying.

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Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said the paper, Mr. Rezaian's family, and his lawyer in Iran were pursuing an appeal. He said no sentence for Rezaian had been announced.

"The guilty verdict announced by Iran in the trial of the Washington Post's Jason Rezaian represents an outrageous injustice," Baron said.

"Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case," he said. "The contemptible end to this 'judicial process' leaves Iran's senior leaders with an obligation to right this grievous wrong."

Months ago, the Iran nuclear deal was rumored to include Rezaian's release, as The Christian Science Monitor's Kevin Truong wrote in May:

The historic nuclear agreement announced earlier this month might have changed the dynamics of the sitation, however. It “gave the governments a chance to talk to each other face to face,” his brother Ali told USA Today.

...

Mr. Rezaian and his wife were snatched from their home in Tehran in the middle of the night on June 22, 2014. Rezaian’s wife was released from custody on bail, but Rezaian remains detained on charges that include espionage – charges he and the Post refute.

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In April, nine months after the beginning of Rezaian's detention, the charges against him were finally released. In addition to espionage, he is also charged with three other crimes connected to bringing down the government, including "collaborating with hostile governments" and "propaganda against the establishment," The Washington Post reported.

The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.

Rezaian’s trial began on May 26, 2015, and was closed to the public. 

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)