Iran jails President Hassan Rouhani's brother

Pauline Gross
July 17, 2017

He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars last year after being accused of espionage-related charges.

President Hassan Rouhani's brother has been arrested as part of a high-profile corruption case, according to Iranian authorities, who earlier sentenced a United States dual national to prison on spying charges. He did not name the individual but said the accused was an "infiltrating agent", terminology often used to describe those collaborating with foreign governments.

"He had entered the country through a special connection but the ministry of intelligence identified him and arrested him", Mohseni-Eje'i said.

The report from Mizan, which included a photo from the Princeton website, also contained a quote from Wang in which he praises the British Institute of Persian Studies for facilitating access to Iran's National Archives and other libraries.

Stephen Kotkin, Wang's adviser at Princeton, described him as a gifted scholar who was impressed with Persian culture. "Before his arrest he was able to digitally archive 4,500 pages of the country's documents, while under covert surveillance", said Mizanonline.

In mid-June, the American Senate backed new sanctions against Iran, denouncing the Islamic republic's "continued support of terrorism". In October, 80-year-old former UNICEF official Baquer Namazi, an Iranian-American, and his business consultant son Siamak Namazi, were handed 10-year prison terms for "espionage and collaboration with the American government". As The Iranian previously reported, the younger Namazi has been subjected to cruel and unusual treatment since his internment began in 2015.

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Washington also requires the cooperation of Tehran in the case of Robert Levinson, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, missing in Iran since 2007.

Four U.S. prisoners were released past year by Iran as part of a prisoner swap granting clemency to seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States.

"We continue to use all the means at our disposal to advocate for USA citizens who need our assistance overseas especially for the release of any unjustly detained USA citizens held overseas".

Tensions between the United States and Iran have heightened since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. He was later sentenced to 10 years in prison after being accused of being an American spy.

The New York Times cited a spokesman for Princeton University as saying that the university had known about Wang's arrest for months but "had been trying to work quietly to have Mr. Wang freed". According to Professor Kotkin, Wang was studying late 19 and early 20 century governance in predominantly Muslin regions, such as Qajar Iran, Afghanistan, and imperial Russian Turkestan.

"We continue to use all the means at our disposal to advocate for USA citizens who need our assistance overseas, especially for the release of any unjustly detained USA citizens held overseas", the State Department said.

Other reports by GizPress

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