Tehran - AP - Nov. 27, 2010
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Iran's Supreme Court has rejected the death sentence against Iranian-U.S. citizen Amir-Mirza Hekmati, who was charged with working as an agent for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a spokesman for the judiciary
said Monday.

"The intial death sentence has been rejected and the case returned to the court," the ISNA news agency quoted Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejehi as saying.

The revolutionary court in Tehran had in January issued the death sentence against Hekmati for cooperating with a country hostile to Iran, affiliation with the CIA, and efforts to link Iran with terrorism.

Hekmati was reportedly arrested and detained in September last year when he was in Iran to visit relatives. Tehran disclosed the arrest in mid-December.

Hekmati confessed on state television to having been deceived by the CIA into spying on Iran. After training in military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, he was dispatched to Iran to infiltrate Iranian secret service.

The 28-year-old Hekmati was supposed to win the trust of the Iranian secret service with classified CIA intelligence data but, according to his statements, he never intended to harm the Islamic state but wanted to stay in Iran and not return to the U.S.

Hekmati's father, who lives in Detroit, denied that his son had any affiliation with the CIA. The US State Department has called on an immediate release of Hekmati.