A former United States Marine convicted of espionage by an Iranian court will not be executed, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. The agency reported Monday Iran’s Supreme Court has annulled the death sentence for Amir Mirzaei Hekmati and ordered a retrial.
"There was an appeal on his verdict. The Supreme Court found shortcomings in the case and sent it for review by an equivalent branch,” ISNA quoted prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei as saying.
Hekmati, an Arizona native, was arrested last August while visiting family in Iran. He was convicted of participating in the CIA’s "efforts to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism.” The semi-official news agency Fars claimed Hekmati confessed to working for the CIA.
"I was deceived by the CIA," the 28-year-old allegedly said in a confession. "Although I was appointed to break into Iran's intelligence systems and act as a new source for the CIA, I had no intention of undermining the country."
Hekmati served as an Arabic translator in the U.S. Marines from 2001 to 2005. After leaving the military he started a linguistics company.
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