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Iran sentences U.S.-Iranian man to death for spying

By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Court has sentenced an Iranian-American man to death for spying for the CIA, officials said on Monday, a move likely to aggravate U.S.-Iranian tensions already high because of Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

The United States denies that Amir Mirza Hekmati is a spy and has demanded his immediate release. The White House said it was trying to verify the report on his sentencing.

"If true, we strongly condemn such a verdict and will work with our partners to convey our condemnation to the Iranian government," said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

Western nations have recently expanded punitive economic sanctions against Iran over suspicions it is trying to develop atomic bombs under the cover of a civilian atomic energy program. The Islamic Republic denies this.

SOURCE: Reuters