The regime does have a certain knack for taking hostages, and Iran is looking for all the leverage it can get against sanctions.
It is noteworthy that they have prosecuted him according to Qur’an 5:33: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.”
“Iran sentences U.S.-Iranian man to death for spying,” by Parisa Hafezi for Reuters, January 9:
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced an Iranian-American man to death for spying for the CIA, officials said on Monday, a move likely to aggravate U.S.-Iranian tensions already high because of Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
The United States denies that Amir Mirza Hekmati is a spy and has demanded his immediate release. The White House said it was trying to verify the report on his sentencing.
Other reports have noted that Hekmati is a former Marine, which the Iranians have seized upon in prosecuting him.
“If true, we strongly condemn such a verdict and will work with our partners to convey our condemnation to the Iranian government,” said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.
Western nations have recently expanded punitive economic sanctions against Iran over suspicions it is trying to develop atomic bombs under the cover of a civilian atomic energy program. The Islamic Republic denies this.
But word from diplomatic sources in Vienna, headquarters of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, that Iran has begun enriching uranium in a mountain bunker protected from possible Western air strikes is likely to heat the atmosphere further.
“Amir Mirza Hekmati was sentenced to death…for cooperating with the hostile country America and spying for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency),” the student news agency ISNA quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei as saying.
“The court found him Corrupt on the Earth and Mohareb (one who wages war on God). Hekmati can appeal to the Supreme Court.”…