Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post journalist detained last year in Iran, is now facing four charges against him.
Rezaian’s lawyer Leila Ahsan told the Associated Press that her client also faces charges of “conducting propaganda against the establishment” and “collaborating with hostile governments.”
If the U.S. journalist is found guilty of the charges, he would be jailed for 10-20 years.
“It is beyond absurd and despicable to assert, as Iran’s judiciary is now claiming, that Jason’s work first as a freelance reporter and then as The Post’s Tehran correspondent amounted to espionage or otherwise posed any threat to Iranian national security,” The Washington Post’s executive editor Martin Baron said.
On Monday, Rezaian had a meeting with his lawyer for 90 minutes in the presence of an official translator.
In July last year, 39-year-old Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi were arrested after Iranian security forces carried out a raid at their Tehran home. Salehi was later released, but Rezaian, a dual Iranian-U.S. citizen, was detained for nine months.
The White House revolted against the charges against the U.S. journalist and called for his immediate release.
U.S. President Barack Obama called all charges against him vague, as mentioned by Reuters. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf also said charges against the journalist are patently absurd.