TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - A spokesman for the Judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, said on Sunday that “a US infiltration agent,” who held both a US nationality and that of another country, had been identified and arrested by Intelligence Ministry forces, according to the Mizan Online News Agency.
Mohseni-Ejei did not name the individual but said he “was being directly instructed by America.”
The case of the individual, the Iranian spokesman said, had later been taken up by a court of first instance, which sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
Mohseni-Ejei explained that the sentence could be appealed.
The Judiciary spokesman said he may offer further information on the case should the conviction be finalized.
Meanwhile, Mizan provided more information on the case in another article citing an informed source and published on Sunday. The source identified the individual convicted of spying as Xiyue Wang, a US citizen of Chinese descent.
According to the article, Wang had attempted to infiltrate research institutions and credible archives in order to access classified information.
During his time in Iran and before he was arrested, Wang had digitally archived 4,500 pages of documents but he had been under close covert surveillance the whole time.
Wang had been subjected to surveillance since he entered Iran under the guise of a researcher. That was because he was associated with the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Princeton University, which according to Mizan has intricate relations with American and British intelligence agencies.
Wang was ultimately arrested on August 8, 2016 as he sought to leave Iran.
The New York Times cited a spokesman for Princeton University as saying that the university had known about Wang’s arrest for months but “had been trying to work quietly to have Mr. Wang freed.”
The US State Department, meanwhile, has called for “the immediate release of all US citizens unjustly detained in Iran.”