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Another American in trouble in Iran
January 9, 2012 - Stephen Browne
An Iranian-American former U.S. Marine, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, has been sentenced to death in Iran for being a CIA spy.
According to his father, a teacher at a community college in Flint, Michigan, he's not a spy and was only in Iran to visit his grandmother.
Who knows? Would his father even know if his son worked for the CIA? I once knew an American intelligence agent in Bulgaria. (A family friend, that's how I knew him, I don't normally hang around those circles.) His father knew about his career, but his 13-year-old daughter didn't.
Of course, the Iranians could just be thumbing their collective noses at us. Remember the three hikers who allegedly wandered across the border by mistake and were arrested and held for some time before being released? And remember Roxanne Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist also arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison before being released?
So what's going to happen to Hekmati is anyone's guess right now. The Iranian regime may make a show of mercy as they did with the hikers and Saberi, after seriously messing with their heads.
On the other hand, none of those others were sentenced to death. And in any case, there's not a thing we can do about it under international law anyway - not that the Iranian regime gives a fig for international law.
The reason is, Hekmati has dual citizenship. Iran doesn't recognize dual citizenship, many countries don't, and considers him Iranian but that doesn't matter either.
I know, because my son has dual citizenship (as does my sister.) He was born in Warsaw, Poland to a Polish mother. We registered his birth at the American embassy and got him an American passport right away. The embassy guy at the passport desk explained it all to us.
To begin with, governments don't really like dual citizenship, it makes things complicated. They recognize that it happens though. The rules are, my son has to enter Poland on his Polish passport. He has to enter the United States on his American passport. Everywhere else he can choose the cheaper visa. (But we should really check and see if it's still a crime in Russia to have two passports on you.)
If either country has a draft, the one he's in when he comes of age gets him. (Which introduces further complications.)
And here's the rub, the embassy guy told us that if he gets arrested in either country of citizenship, the other country can do nothing.
Nothing under the laws of nations that is. How we got Roxanne Saberi back was to buy her out with the freedom of some Iranian terrorists arrested in Iraq with American blood on their hands.
(And by the way, doesn't Michael Moore claim Flint, Michigan is his home town? You don't suppose Moore would be willing to go to bat for a fellow Flint-er?)
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