The recent death sentence of a U.S. citizen by Iranian regime has once again stoked diplomatic tensions between the two nations, already in a tussle over the nuclear enrichment issue.
The U.S. has condemned the sentencing which come close to the news of resumption of nuclear enrichment by Iran at the Fordow plant— a heavily fortified site dug deep under a mountain ranges, very near the city of Iranian city of Qom.
Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, an Iranian-American from Arizona, was publicized on Iranian television in December confessing to being a CIA agent. According to the Iranian conservative regime, Hekmati was sent to earn the trust of the Iran by pretending to offer US state secrets.
The news of the sentencing has flared up tensions on Tehran's nuclear program the threat to block the strategic oil transit - the Gulf of Hormuz. The announcement of Mr. Hekmati's death sentence came from Keyhan, a newspaper with links to the conformist clerical establishment. The Keyhan also reported that Iran had started enriching uranium amid heightened foreign enemy threats.
A diplomat from the US National Security Agency responded to the news saying that the Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, of eliciting forced confessions, and of targeting innocent Americans for political reasons.
The US administration has asked Iran to allow immediate access for Swiss diplomats —presently take care of American consular issues in Iran— to Hekmati. Iran has also been asked to provide Hekmati with legal counsel and be released immediately.