- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
- Tea Party Patriots call key GOP firing a declaration of war
U.S. condemns Tehran over death sentence for American man
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration denied on Monday that an American man sentenced to death in Iran was a CIA spy, and it sharply criticized the Islamic republic in Tehran for what it called a pattern of arresting innocent people for political reasons.
Iran charged that Hekmati received special training and served at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for an intelligence mission. A court convicted him of working with a hostile country, belonging to the CIA and trying to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism, according to a state radio report Monday.
“Allegations that Mr. Hekmati either worked for, or was sent to Iran by the CIA are false,” Mr. Vietor said in a statement. “The Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, of eliciting forced confessions, and of holding innocent Americans for political reasons.”
Hekmati, a 28-year-old former military translator, was born in Arizona and graduated from high school in Michigan. His family is of Iranian origin, and Hekmati claims dual citizenship. His father, Ali, a professor at a community college in Flint, Mich., has said his son was visiting his grandmothers in Iran.
Swiss diplomats, acting on behalf of the United States because Washington and Tehran don’t have diplomatic relations, have tried unsuccessfully to gain consular access to Hekmati. Iran doesn’t recognize dual citizenship and considers Americans of Iranian origin to be solely citizens of the Islamic republic.
For that reason, the State Department has warned U.S. citizens of Iranian background to avoid visiting the country because of “the risk of being targeted by authorities.”
Behnaz Hekmati, Amir Hekmati’s mother, said in an email to the Associated Press that she and her husband are “shocked and terrified” that their son has been sentenced to death. The verdict is “the result of a process that was neither transparent nor fair,” she said.
Her son did not engage in any acts of spying, or “‘fighting against God,” as the convicting judge has claimed in his sentence, she said. “Amir is not a criminal. His very life is being exploited for political gain.”
Hekmati’s mother said a “grave error” has been committed and that the family has authorized legal representatives to make direct contract with Iranian authorities to find a solution.
The Marine Corps said AmirNema Hekmati served between 2001 and 2005, including one deployment to Iraq in 2004 and a stint at the military language institute in Monterey, Calif. The Marine records do not indicate any deployment to Afghanistan. It was not clear why the middle name was listed differently.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
- GOP Rep. Tim Murphy rolls out mental health legislation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow