US jour­nal­ist faces es­pi­onage trial in Iran

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY ARTHUR MACMIL­LAN

A Wash­ing­ton Post re­porter de­tained in Iran will be tried for es­pi­onage and col­lab­o­rat­ing with “hos­tile gov­ern­ments,” in a de­ci­sion branded ab­surd Mon­day by the White House and the news­pa­per.

Ja­son Reza­ian has been in jail for nine months in Tehran in what has be­come a po­lit­i­cally sen­si­tive case that has par­al­leled with high- level nu­clear talks be­tween Iran and global pow­ers, States.

The al­le­ga­tions against him had been shrouded in se­crecy, but in a tele­phone call to AFP on Mon­day, Reza­ian’s lawyer Leila Ah­san de­tailed the four se­ri­ous of­fences her client faces.

As well as al­legedly spy­ing un­der the first two charges, the 39- year- old jour­nal­ist, the Post’s Tehran cor­re­spon­dent, stands ac­cused of gath­er­ing clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion and of dis­sem­i­nat­ing pro­pa­ganda

in­clud­ing

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United against the Is­lamic repub­lic.

Ah­san, who said she had ac­cess to the com­plete crim­i­nal file, said it con­tained “no jus­ti­fi­able proof” against Reza­ian, and that she had seen no legal rea­son to con­tinue his detention af­ter the case’s pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

But re­quests for bail had been turned down, said the lawyer who also crit­i­cized Ira­nian me­dia for pub­lish­ing al­le­ga­tions about Reza­ian that are “wrong and con­trary to re­al­ity.”

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