Iran holds third trial of US journalist News
Iran holds third trial of US journalist

[JURIST] The Iranian Revolutionary Court [BBC backgrounder] began on Monday the third closed-door hearing [IRNA report] for Jason Rezaian [advocacy website], a Washington Post correspondent accused of espionage for allegedly collecting confidential information, handing it to hostile governments, and acting against national security. Rezaian, a dual US-Iranian citizen, has been detained in Iran for almost a year due to espionage charges stemming from a visit made to a US consulate seeking a visa for his wife, and a letter to the Obama administration found on his confiscated laptop. Rezaian’s lawyer was able to confirm [Washington Post report] that the charges were reviewed during the session, but is barred from giving any further information. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry [official profiles] have urged Iran for Rezaian’s release, but no cooperative measures have been taken. Rezaian, his family, and the United States government all refute the espionage charges as categorically untrue.

Rezaian’s trial began [JURIST report] in late May after an announcement by the Tehran court that all proceedings would be closed to the public [Washington Post report], including interested family members. Rezaian’s case remains particularly sensitive as it falls in the midst [BBC report] of Iran’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with the West. Rezaian’s trial looms before the nuclear negotiation’s June 30 deadline. Iran has agreed to a preliminary framework [JURIST report] of nuclear restrictions in exchange for gradual lifting of international economic sanctions in a deal struck with five major world powers including the US. While this agreement is not final, the US remains optimistic that it remains a “solid foundation for the good deal [the nations] are seeking.”