The man accused of spying for the CIA went on trial today in Tehran.
The Fars News Agency reports that 28-year-old Amir Mirzai Hekmati is accused of “collaboration with the hostile government of the United States and the spying agency the CIA, against the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic.”
The Prosecutor’s office prepared the indictment based on a report by the Ministry of Intelligence and the “confessions” of the accused.
Mirzai Hekmati said in court: “In this mission, I was deceived by the U.S. spying service and, although I entered Iran with the objective of infiltrating Islamic Republic systems and becoming an information source for the CIA, I did not personally mean to strike a blow against Iran… I intended to live in Iran and never return to the U.S.”
Fars reports that the defence attorney raised a number of problems with the indictment. The report does not indicate whether or not the attorney was appointed by the state.
Judge Salavati said that once the defence statement of the accused is presented in court, a verdict will be issued on the case.
On December 17, Iran announced that it had detained a person of Iranian descent and charged him with spying for the U.S.
A day later, Amir Mirzai Hekmati was shown on national television confessing to the alleged spying charges.
Later, Ali Hekmati, the detainee’s father in the U.S., announced that his son had never worked for the CIA and that he had gone to Iran to visit his grandmother.
He said his son had previously worked for the U.S. Marines as an Arabic translator.
Ali Hekmati added that his son, who was born in Arizona and joined the marines after graduating from high school, has in fact been in Iranian custody since September.
A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department has asked Iran for access to Hekmati through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.