A court in Tehran has given a death sentence to an American man of Iranian descent. After a trial which started last month, Amir Mirzai Hekmati has been found guilty of spying for the US.
American officials claim Hekmati has been falsely accused and are calling for his release.
Twenty-eight year old Hekmati was on a trip to Iran to visit his grandparents, according to his family in Arizona.
The Iranian Ministry of Information also accused Hekmati of being trained by the US intelligence agency in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a confession broadcast on state television in December, Hekmati admitted having links with the CIA, but his defence team said he had no intention of acting against Iran.
This is just the latest incident adding tension to the already strained relationship between Tehran and the West.
Ten days of war games in the Strait of Hormuz in December by Iran’s navy highlighted Tehran’s ability to shut down the vital crude oil shipping route should it choose to in the future. Iran has threatened to do so, should it be hit with more sanctions by the West.
Roughly 40 percent of the world’s oil tanker trade uses the route, carrying 15.5 million barrels of oil a day.
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