The BBC reports today the Iranian government has overturned the death sentence against the Iranian-American game developer who Tehran accuses of being a spy.
Judges had found the verdict against Amir Mirzai Hekmati was “not
complete” and referred his case to an affiliate court, a judiciary
In January, Mr Hekmati was convicted of “co-operating with a
hostile nation, membership of the CIA and trying to implicate Iran in
The US has urged Iran to release him.
The Tehran Times published Hekmati’s purported confession, in which he is said to have told Iranian intelligence agents that he worked with Kuma, a games company that produces the free-to-play Kuma/War series. Kuma/War games are based on real-life combat incidents and the series’ developers usually take their inspiration from the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although the most recent Kuma/War mission is based on the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi.
The Iranian government has claimed that Hekmati told interrogators that Kuma/War is part of a U.S. propaganda campaign to manipulate public opinion in the Middle East.
The U.S. government has also denied that Hekmati is a spy and had demanded his release.
Whether the Iranian government actually has evidence that he is a spy or is simply holding Hekmati, who has also served in the U.S. Marines, as a captive/bargaining chip during the current international tensions between the United States and Iran remains to be seen.
President Obama is today scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss what strategies, which could include actual military options, may be employed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.