Ex-Marine's family says he wasn't spying in Iran

January 9, 2012 7:00:07 PM PST
The family of an American man sentenced to death in Iran for allegedly being a CIA spy says he was visiting relatives and was not spying for the CIA.

Behnaz Hekmati, mother of Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, said in an email to The Associated Press that she and her husband Ali are "shocked and terrified" that their son has been sentenced to death. She said the verdict is "the result of a process that was neither transparent nor fair."

Iran charged that Hekmati received special training and served in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for an intelligence mission.

The 28-year-old former military translator was born in Arizona and graduated from high school in Michigan. His family is of Iranian origin.