American Game Developer on Death Row in Iran Receives Family Visit

The fate of American game developer Amir Hekmati, currently on death row in Iran, remains in question weeks after the original deadline for appeal has passed.

As we've previously reported, Hekmati was arrested in Iran late last summer under allegations of being a CIA spy. In December he issued a public "confession," the validity and accuracy of which remains hotly questioned, and in January, he was sentenced to death by hanging.

The New York Times reports today that Hekmati's mother, Benhaz Hekmati, was able to visit with her son in prison in Tehran three times earlier this month, before returning to the United States last week. In a prepared statement, she described her son as "disappointed by the circumstances he finds himself in" but "hopeful that the truth will be known and he will be able to come home very soon."

Political and diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran, which have been strained at best for quite some time, have been growing increasingly tense throughout the year to date. The Times says of political implications: "The arc of Mr. Hekmati's case has closely tracked the international war of words over Iran's nuclear program, which the West believes is aimed at developing weapons but which Tehran insists is peaceful."

American Sentenced to Death in Iran Visited by His Mother [The New York Times]

(Top photo: FreeAmir website)