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Official: Iran confirms death sentence to American

By Bradley Klapper

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 10 2012 3:13 p.m. MST

WASHINGTON — Iran has confirmed to the United States' Swiss representatives in Tehran that the country has sentenced an Iranian-American man to death.

Iran accuses Amir Hekmati of bring a CIA spy. Hekmati was born in Arizona and grew up in the Flint, Mich., area.

A U.S. official says Switzerland was informed of the sentence Tuesday — a day after it was reported in Iranian media. Switzerland acts as a go-between in such situations. It represents American interests in Iran because the U.S. and Iran have no diplomatic relations. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because sensitive discussions continue between Switzerland and Iran.

The U.S. says Iran refuses to let Swiss diplomats visit Hekmati in prison.

The Obama administration says the charges against the 28-year-old ex-military translator are a complete fabrication.

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