Iran released a confirmation to America today that Iranian courts sentenced a Chinese American Princeton Graduate student to a decade behind bars on allegations the rogue nation claims the student was of spying for the United States.
Xiyue Wang, a graduate student in history at Princeton University, had been unheard from by family, claiming he had vanished in Iran months ago while doing research for his doctoral thesis.
Intelligence agencies claim there had been rumors of his possible arrest, but the news of his abrupt sentencing was the first time Iran officially confirmed the detainment and imprisonment of the American citizen.
“It was verified and determined that he was gathering information and was involved in infiltration,” judicial spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi, said at a public news conference in Tehran. The judiciary’s Mizan News Agency said Wang had “spider connections” with both the United States and British intelligence services.
Princeton University confirmed that their student, Wang, was a fourth-year graduate student working on his doctorate. “He was arrested in Iran last summer, while he was there doing scholarly research on the administrative and cultural history of the late Qajar dynasty in connection with his Ph.D. dissertation,” said Daniel Day, Princeton’s Vice President of Communications.
He went on to say that, “Since his arrest, the University has worked with Mr. Wang’s family, the United States government, private counsel and others to facilitate his release.”
Although the University had known about the detainment and arrest by Iran for several months, it had avoided publicizing the issue in an effort for the United States to quietly get Wang freed.
This recent imprisonment will likely raise the already-high tensions between both Washington and Tehran at a time when President Trump is already extremely critical of the regime in Iran, claiming it's both a direct sponsor of terror and a threat to Democracy in the Middle East.
President Trump still has to decide whether or not Iran is honoring its side of the nuclear deal which Barack Obama endorsed that the new Commander in Chief has been overwhelmingly critical of.
The State Department issued its own release in an email saying that, “The Iranian regime continues to detain U.S. citizens and other foreigners on fabricated national-security related changes. We call for the immediate release of all U.S. citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families.”
The State Department has previously told the press that at least three other Americans are thought to be imprisoned in Iran although the number could be even higher.
Sources from inside the White House claim that President Trump is “mulling over his options” but allege the President will likely take this as an increased sign of aggression from the terror supporting nation of Iran.