By Mark Memmott

The only American arrested in Iran during the crackdown on protesters following that country's June presidential election has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Kian Tajbakhsh was prosecuted during a mass trial of alleged Iranian opposition members and reportedly faced charges including espionage, contacting foreign agents and acting against Iran's national security, the Associated Press writes.

As Reuters reports

The verdict looked certain to anger the United States, which is seeking to engage the Islamic Republic in direct talks to resolve a long-running row over Tehran's disputed nuclear ambitions.
Tajbakhsh was among more than 100 people detained after the presidential poll who were in the dock at a series of mass trials that got under way in August on charges of fomenting post-election street unrest.
Tajbakhsh was accused of espionage and acting against national security.
The presidential poll, which was followed by huge opposition protests, plunged Iran into its deepest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The moderate opposition says it was rigged to secure President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election. Officials deny it.

categories: Foreign News

11:16 - October 20, 2009