Iran Sentences US 'Spy' to Death


Family: 'We Will Not Stop Hoping and Praying for Justice'

In the Iranian broadcast, Hekmati was described as having been trained in military intelligence for 10 years by the U.S. Army before being sent in country on his secret mission to become a double agent for the CIA. But military service records provided to ABC News showed Hekmati is an ex-Marine, was never in the Army and never had any military intelligence training. He spoke Arabic and may have helped translate for his Marine unit, but left service in 2005 as a rifleman.

The elder Hekmati said his son worked for a security contractor after his Marine service, but insisted he never had intelligence training there either. The Associated Press reported in December Hekmati briefly worked for the major security contractor BAE Systems before going to work for another contractor in Qatar before his arrest.

READ: American Held By Iran as CIA 'Spy' Had No Military Intel Training

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"We've seen this story before with the Iranian regime falsely accusing people of being spies and then holding the innocent foreigners for political reasons," State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said in December. In September, the Iranian government released the last two of three American hikers detained there for two years on accusations of espionage.

Hekmati's mother, father, two sisters and brother all live in the U.S.

"Every waking moment, our family is agonizing over Amir's fate," the family's statement says. "We continue to hope, struggling to reach out to Iran and abroad for Amir's freedom... to the ones who have hearts, and the ones who can hear. We will not stop hoping and praying for justice, for peaceful dialogue with Iran, and for Amir's safe return home."

A representative at the Iranian Interest Section in Washington, D.C., declined to comment for this report and referred ABC News to his colleagues in New York. Representatives at the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately return requests for comment.

Hekmati's family has set up a website in Amir's name, called

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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