US Seeks Prisoner Exchange

US Seeks Prisoner ExchangeUS Seeks Prisoner Exchange

The defense lawyer for Iranian-American citizen Amir Mirza Hekmati, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence on a conviction of espionage in Iran for the US spy agency, said Washington has asked Tehran to exchange his client with several Iranians detained in the United States.    

Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabei told ISNA on Tuesday that "Washington has communicated the request for exchange of his client through the US interests section in Iran."  

Since Washington and Tehran severed diplomatic ties in 1979, the US has an interests section in Tehran, which is part of the Swiss Embassy.  "The names of those on the list of prisoner exchange with Mr. Mirza Hekmati have been announced (by Washington); however, the list will be made available to the public when the Iranian judiciary deems necessary," Alizadeh Tabatabei added.

He also expressed hope that Iran would accept the request for prisoner exchange.

In 2012, a Tehran court found Hekmati guilty of collaboration with "a hostile government" and the US intelligence agency CIA.   

Mirza Hekmati was reportedly charged with attempting to infiltrate Iran's intelligence apparatus in efforts to implicate the Islamic Republic in sponsoring terrorism.

According to his Father, Hekmati, who was born in the state of Arizona in southwestern US, joined the US Marines after he received his high school diploma and served as an Arabic translator.