Iran charges US reporter with four crimes: report
Updated: 2015-04-21 09:14
Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian speaks in the newspaper's offices in Washington, DC in a November 6, 2013 file photo provided by The Washington Post.
WASHINGTON - Iranian authorities are charging The Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief with four serious crimes including espionage, the newspaper reported on Monday.
Jason Rezaian, who has been arrested nine months ago, faces charges of "collaborating with hostile governments," "propaganda against the establishment," and gathering information "about internal and foreign policy" and providing it to "individuals with hostile intent," his lawyer Leila Ahsan told the newspaper.
Ahsan said the case file presents no evidence to justify the charges against Rezaian, who is 39 and holds both Iranian and US passports. She added that the charges are related to his journalistic pursuit of stories about Iran.
"Jason is a journalist, and it is in the nature of his profession to gain access to information and publish them," she said. "My client, however, has never had any direct or indirect access to classified information to share with anyone."
The White House said on Monday the US is not aware of any official announcement yet from Iranian judicial authorities about the charges against Rezaian.
"If the reports are true, these charges are absurd, should be immediately dismissed and Jason should be freed immediately, so that he can return home to his family," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a press briefing.