State sponsor of terrorism Iran has denied the appeal of an American citizen, sentenced by the Islamic Republic to ten years in prison for allegedly spying on behalf of the United States, revealed the defendant’s former employer Princeton University.
“Iranian authorities have denied Xiyue Wang’s appeal of his conviction and 10-year prison sentence for espionage that he did not attempt or commit. We are distressed that his appeal was denied, and that he remains unjustly imprisoned,” declared Princeton in a statement issued Thursday.
“I am devastated that my husband’s appeal has been denied, and that he continues to be unjustly imprisoned in Iran on groundless accusations of espionage and collaboration with a hostile government against the Iranian state,” added Hua Qu, the imprisoned American’s wife, in her own statement. ”Our young son and I have not seen Xiyue in more than a year, and we miss him very much.”
Princeton University identified Wang as a doctoral candidate specializing in Eurasian history, noting that he was conducting research for his dissertation at the time of his arrest last year.
“In connection with his doctoral research he traveled to Iran solely to study Farsi and to examine historical documents from the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” explained the university. “He described his research plans in advance to the Iranian authorities and the libraries and archives he planned to visit, and he only sought access to materials that he needed for his dissertation.”
Wang’s wife, a Chinese citizen, revealed that she is concerned about her husband’s health, adding that he is being held at Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, sometimes in solitary confinement.
“We hope the Iranian officials can release him immediately so he can resume his studies at home and so that our family will be together again,” said his distraught wife.
On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump’s State Department stressed the United States’ demand “for the immediate release of all U.S. citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families,” points out Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Iranian authorities have accused Wang of ”spying under the cover of research,” an allegation that his family and the university have strongly denied.
The Islamic Republic’s allegation that the university sent Wang to “infiltrate” the country and that the U.S. citizen had “connections to intelligence agencies” is “completely false,” proclaimed Princeton, adding, “He was not connected to any government or intelligence agencies.”
Trump has denounced Iran, warning the Shiite Islamic Republic against “unjustly” imprisoning Americans.
President Trump “is prepared to impose new and serious consequences on Iran unless all unjustly imprisoned American citizens are released and returned,” revealed the White House last month.