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  Iran sentences Washington Post reporter to jail

Iran sentences Washington Post reporter to jail

REUTERS
Published : Nov 23, 2015, 3:46 am IST
Updated : Nov 23, 2015, 3:46 am IST

An Iranian court has sentenced Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to a prison term, the state news agency said on Sunday quoting the judiciary spokesman, a case that is a sensitive issue in conten

An Iranian court has sentenced Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to a prison term, the state news agency said on Sunday quoting the judiciary spokesman, a case that is a sensitive issue in contentious US-Iranian relations.

The length of the prison term was not specified. “Serving a jail term is in Jason Rezaian’s sentence but I cannot give details,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mo-hseni Ejei told a weekly press conference in Tehran, according to IRNA.

 

In Washington, US state department spoke-sman John Kirby said he was aware of the IRNA report but could not independently confirm it. It was not immediately clear why Iran has not given details of the ruling against the 39-year-old Rezaian, who Iranian prosecuto-rs accused of espionage.

The foreign editor of the Washington Post, Douglas Jehl, said in a statement that the newspaper was aware of the reports but that they had no additional information. “His trial and sentence are a sham, and he should be released immediately,” Mr Jehl said.

On October 11, Mr Ejei said Rezaian, the paper’s Tehran bureau chief who has both US and Iranian citizenship, had been convicted, without elaborating. He said then that Rezaian had 20 days to appeal against the verdict.

 

The Washington Post said in October that the verdict, issued soon after Iran raised hopes of a thaw in its relations with the West by striking a nuclear deal with world powers including Washington, was “vague and puzzling”.

It said the vagueness of Mr Ejei’s remarks sh-owed Rezaian’s case was not just about espionage and that the repo-rter was a bargaining chip in a “larger game”. The Post and his family denounced the espionage charges against Rezaian as absurd.

Influential Parliament speaker Ali Larijani hinted in September at the possibility that Rez-aian could be freed in exchange for Iranian prisoners in the United States, but officials then played down the possibility of such a swap.

 

Among the charges, Rezaian was accused of disseminating “propaganda against the establishment”.

Location: United Arab Emirates, Dubai