Following calls by the US officials for the release of American Iranian dual national Emad Sharghi, an Iranian hardliner website has published an article emphasizing that he is a spy.
Fars News, with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, published the piece on Monday, two days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the Islamic Republic to release Sharghi and stop its policy of holding people as political pawns.
In a tweet on Saturday, Blinken called on Iran to stop this “inhumane practice” saying, “For four years, the Shargi (Sharghi) family has waited anxiously for the Iranian government to release Emad”.
Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley and Republican Senator Marco Rubio also twitted for his release, noting that he remains unjustly detained in the Evin Prison under false charges.
Fars News said, “Sharqi's family and the US government must answer why he had documents at the time of his arrest that showed his interest in spying on the Iranian military”.
It added that his business activities were a cover for espionage, “especially in the field of helicopter warfare”, claiming that “he had gathered information about the helicopter industry with the help of his accomplices”.
The article speculated that he probably sought to disrupt the supply chain for helicopter repairs.
The 56-year-old businessman was arrested on December 6, 2020. According to reports, he has been sentenced to ten years in prison on charges of espionage and collecting military.