An Iranian national charged with spying for the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has escaped the death penalty and will instead serve 10 years behind bars.
On Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Court rejected the death penalty which was issued against Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, a US resident, by the Islamic Revolutionary Court, said his lawyer, Mahmoud Alizade Tabatabaei.
The lawyer added that his client would still appeal the imprisonment verdict.
On December 17, 2011, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced that it had arrested the CIA spy of Iranian descent, foiling an intricate American plot to carry out espionage activities in the Islamic Republic.
Mirzaei Hekmati was charged with attempting to infiltrate Iran’s intelligence apparatus in an effort to implicate the Islamic Republic in sponsoring terrorism. The defendant had been hired by the CIA in May 2009 to carry out espionage operations in Iran.
In a televised confession broadcast on the Iranian television a day later, Mirzaei Hekmati said he joined the US Army in 2001 and underwent decade-long intelligence training.
He added that he was sent to the US-run Bagram Airbase in eastern Afghanistan and given access to classified intelligence before flying to Tehran.
Hekmati was born in the State of Arizona in southwestern US and joined the Marines after he received his high school diploma, his father said.