UPI: Iran says it will hang a former U.S. Marine for alleged espionage, but his attorney says a prisoner swap with the United States could save his life.
TEHRAN, Feb. 9 (UPI) — Iran says it will hang a former U.S. Marine for alleged espionage, but his attorney says a prisoner swap with the United States could save his life.
Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, 28, a former U.S. Marine and dual citizen of the United States and Iran, was sentenced to death in January for spying. His attorney, Mohammad Hossein Aghassi, has urged the Obama administration to do anything in its power to reach out to Iran to save Hekmati — including a possible exchange of prisoners.
U.S. diplomats have been unable to access Hekmati. Iranian officials do not recognize Hekmati’s dual citizenship, said a State Department official who wished to remain anonymous.
“The Iranians claim that he is an Iranian citizen thus there is no access requirement,” the official told The Washington Post.
The official said the Obama administration has urged Iran to release Hekmati but as of yet has offered no deals. U.S. officials insist Hekmati is not a spy.