Iran reportedly sentences Princeton student accused of espionage


An American researcher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of spying, according to Iran.

Princeton University has come out in support of Wang and said: "Xiyue Wang is a fourth-year doctoral the Department of History at Princeton University".

In its statement, Princeton said Wang was arrested while conducting research on the 1794-1925 Qajar dynasty for his doctorate in late 19th and early 20th century Eurasian history.

Hossein Fereydoun was taken into custody and is eligible for bail, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei said, according to state-run Tasnim news agency.

"The Iranian regime continues to detain USA citizens and other foreigners on fabricated national-security related changes", a State Department official said in an emailed statement on Sunday.

Wang is the first American to be arrested in Iran who's not a dual U.S.

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Judiciary's Mizan said Mr. Wang had digitally archived 4,500 pages of Iranian documents and had done "super confidential research for the U.S. Department of State, Harvard Kennedy School and British Institute of Persian Studies".

This person, who was directly guided by the United States, was entered the country "under special conditions", he said, adding that he was arrested due to the vigilance of Iranian intelligence ministry forces. At least three other Americans are thought to be imprisoned in Iran although the number could be higher.

Princeton's vice president of communications, Daniel Day, said the university was "very distressed by the charges brought against him". Princeton is working with his family and the US government to secure Wang's release, it said. The U.S. does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Tehran and warns its citizens traveling there that they risk arrest or being barred from leaving.

In January 2016, Iran released an Iranian-American Washington Post reporter, Jason Rezaian, who had been sentenced to 18 months in jail, also on spying charges.

A judiciary spokesman announced the United States dual national will spend a decade behind bars after the sentence was handed down during the latest case of dual nationals held on security charges in the country.

Since Iran and the West reached a nuclear deal two years ago, restrictions on business dealings between the two countries have eased.

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Iran sentences a U.S. citizen to ten years in prison.

Washington has repeatedly called for their release and also for Tehran's cooperation in the case of Robert Levinson, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007.

The new restrictions impose mandatory sanctions on people involved with Iran's ballistic missile programme and those that transact with them.

The brother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been detained over unspecified "financial issues", the nation's judiciary said, a development that reflects increasing tensions between the president and his hardline political opponents.

The US citizen whose sentence was also announced faces 10 years in prison.

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