THE UNITED STATES has asked for a man accused of being a CIA spy to be released by Iran.
Iranian state TV broadcast an apparent confession by Amir Mirzai Hekmati last Sunday, an American citizen of Iranian descent, during which he said he had been sent to Iran to infiltrate the country’s intelligence services, the BBC reports.
The Iranian authorities say Hekmati joined the US Army in 2001 and received special espionage training – however his family insist that he simply worked as an Arabic translator while in the military.
Hekmati’s family denied the 28-year-old was involved in spying – an offence that can carry the death penalty in Iran – saying that “the Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies”.
His father, Ali Hekmati, said his son was visiting his grandmother in Tehran when he was detained, the Telegraph reports. “He is not a spy. It’s a whole bunch of lies on my good son,” he said.
(video via omidfarasati)