US hold­ing Ira­ni­ans ‘in grue­some pris­ons’

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Tehran, Iran - Iran’s ju­di­ciary chief on Mon­day ac­cused the US of hold­ing Ira­ni­ans ‘in grue­some pris­ons’, as the two coun­tries trade charges of il­le­gally jail­ing each other’s cit­i­zens.

“You are keep­ing our in­no­cent cit­i­zens in grue­some pris­ons. This is against the law and international norms and reg­u­la­tions,” said Sadegh Lar­i­jani, head of the ju­di­ciary, quoted by Iran’s state broad­caster. “We tell them that you must im­me­di­ately re­lease Ira­nian cit­i­zens locked up in US pris­ons.”

US re­acted an­grily to news last week that Xiyue Wang, a Prince­ton Univer­sity re­searcher, had been sen­tenced in Iran to ten years in prison for es­pi­onage. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump warned of ‘se­ri­ous con­se­quences’ un­less US na­tion­als were re­leased.

Ira­nian of­fi­cials have in turn re­sponded by crit­i­cis­ing the de­ten­tion of Ira­ni­ans in the US. For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif ac­cused Washington of hold­ing Ira­ni­ans on ‘charges of sanc­tion vi­o­la­tions that are not ap­pli­ca­ble to­day... for bo­gus and purely po­lit­i­cal rea­sons’, at a meet­ing of the Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions think­tank in New York last week.

Lar­i­jani also crit­i­cised the seizure of Ira­nian as­sets in the US, such as a re­cent rul­ing to seize a Man­hat­tan sky­scraper to com­pen­sate vic­tims of ter­ror­ism. “They con­fis­cate Iran’s as­sets. This is a bla­tant rob­bery. Amer­i­cans be­have as a bully and they want to op­press peo­ple of other coun­tries,” he said.

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