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U.S. scholar gets 12-year sentence

October 21, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A court has sentenced Iranian American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh, who was detained after Iran's disputed June election, to more than 12 years in jail, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly urged Tehran to immediately release the scholar, saying the United States was "deeply concerned" about the long jail term.

The verdict comes as the U.S. is seeking to engage Iran in direct talks to resolve a dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Tajbakhsh was among more than 100 people detained in August. He was accused of espionage and acting against national security.

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