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U.S. concerned for detained former marine in Iran

Source: Radio Zamaneh

The United States has expressed concern over the fate of Amir Hekmati, an Iranian-U.S. citizen who was arrested in Iran on spying charges in August 2011.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. State Department issued a statement on Wednesday calling on Iran to provide Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine Corps member, with legal rights.

The statement indicates that one year after Hekmati's arrest in Iran, the United States is gravely concerned about his well-being.

On January 9, Hekmati was sentenced to death, but the sentence was struck down on March 5 by Iran's Supreme Court of Justice, which ruled that the case was incomplete and there needed to be a retrial.

Hekmati had given a confession on Iranian state television saying he had infiltrated Iran to establish a CIA presence.

Amir Hekmati's family say he was coerced into making the confession, and the United States has denied the charge that Hekmati is a CIA agent.

The State Department statement declares: "Mr. Hekmati now has spent a year in prison on charges that are categorically false, and he endured a closed-door trial with little regard for fairness and transparency. We remain concerned over reports of Mr. Hekmati's health condition in prison and urge the Iranian Government to release him so that he may be reunited with his family."

Hekmati is currently awaiting a date for his retrial.

... Payvand News - 08/30/12 ... --

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