Iran's guilty verdict for Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian leaves big questions
Two months past a closed door trial, an Iranian court hands down a guilty verdict. So what happens now? (AFP/File)
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This week an Iranian court handed down a guilty verdict for Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, according to Iranian state media. Now the Western world is wondering how to make sense of the conviction, and where to go from here.
The American-Iranian reporter has been imprisoned in Tehran for more than 14 months and faces up to 20 years in prison for four separate charges, espionage being the most serious. He was arrested along with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, a reporter for UAE-based publication The National, and two photojournalists, all of whom were released briefly afterward. Convicted just this week, Rezaian's actual trial ended in August, back then just as much a mystery as it is today.
According to Iranian media, Rezaian has been accused of providing information to American officials about Iran's nuclear program, including relaying information about Iranian companies sidestepping sanctions, which both US government officials and the Washington Post wholly deny.
Meanwhile, speculation has arisen about whether the conviction may be Iran's way of inching toward a prisoner exchange deal for several Iranians held by the US.
But as social media users have pointed out, Rezaian was reporting on sanctions and the companies they affected...as any good reporter would. Now one thing seems abundantly clear—Rezaian faces charges mainly for carrying out his job as a journalist, and doing it well.
Have a look at some of the responses below. Via Twitter.
Something's Missing Here. WashPost Rips Iran 4 Jason Rezaian 'Conviction', But Not Obama 4 Hanging Him Out 2 Dry http://t.co/HO5oBH1pg9— jacoo (@pjkate) October 13, 2015
The message from Rezaian conviction: Rouhani government can't protect foreign investors. http://t.co/I6sxZIaDyn— Matt Peterson (@mattbpete) October 13, 2015