U.S. man jailed in Iran: "Either they free me or I die"
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- An Iranian-American held in Tehran has reportedly been sentenced to 18 years in prison for “collaboration with a hostile government,” yet another dual national convicted in a secret trial since Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
The sentence handed down to Robin Shahini, a 46-year-old graduate student who lives in San Diego, is the harshest yet for those detained in what analysts believe is hard-liner plan to use them as bargaining chips in future negotiations.
Shahini told Vice News in an interview aired late on Monday that he “just laughed” after hearing his sentence. He acknowledged supporting the protests that followed Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election, but denied being involved in any sort of spying.
“Whatever information they had is all the pictures I posted in Facebook, in my web blog, and they use all those evidence to accuse me,” Shahini said in a telephone call from prison.
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