Iran Imprisons Iranian-American on Spying Charges

Iran Imprisons Iranian-American on Spying Charges

( – Relations between the US and Iran have been poor for decades, and have been especially fraught since the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani just over a year ago. In what some critics have called a bid to improve its position with other nations, the country has detained a number of Iranian-Americans in recent times.

The latest of these was arrested earlier this month. On Tuesday, January 26, the Iranian judiciary confirmed the arrest of an Iranian-American man on charges of “spying and gathering information for foreign countries.” The individual was apprehended while trying to leave the country.

While officials did not name the suspect, Iranian media outlets have identified him as Emad Sharghi, a 56-year-old businessman. Sharghi was allegedly sentenced to 10 years in prison without trial in a Tehran court on espionage charges last November, and was free on bail at the time of his arrest when he tried to leave the country.

This is the first reported detention of an Iranian-American since Joe Biden took office. Biden is likely to take a friendlier approach to Iran than former President Donald Trump did. Whether the Iranians will reciprocate, however, is entirely uncertain.

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