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Spouse of US scholar held in Iran says husband ‘not a spy’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The spouse of a Princeton College graduate scholar imprisoned in Iran stated Thursday her husband shouldn’t be a spy and appealed for worldwide cooperation to safe his launch.

“I plead for the gates of mercy to be open for him, and I hope he can come again to us as quickly as doable,” Hua Qu stated in a speech marking the third anniversary of her husband’s detention.

Hua additionally stated there have been no current productive conversations between the USA and the Iranian authorities about Xiyue Wang, a Chinese language-American historical past researcher who was sentenced to 10 years in jail after being convicted of “infiltrating” Iran and sending confidential materials overseas.

“My husband and our household have develop into harmless victims in an apparently ever-intensifying quarrel between world powers,” Hua stated. “My husband is an instructional researcher. He is a father, a husband. He isn’t a political determine, and he positively shouldn’t be a spy.”

Efforts to free Wang and different People held in Iran have been sophisticated by elevated tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Any productive dialogue that may as soon as have occurred has stalled following the U.S. withdrawal final yr from the 2015 nuclear settlement between the Iranian authorities and world powers.

Whereas Iran’s prime diplomat has floated the concept of a prisoner swap, the U.S. authorities has merely referred to as for the speedy launch of all “harmless” People.

“This case is not going to be robotically resolved,” Hua stated. “They positively want to return to the negotiating desk and to talk to one another, to have interaction in a dialogue. “

Hua praised the efforts of Robert O’Brien, the State Division’s particular envoy for hostage affairs. However she stated her husband ought to get the identical stage of consideration from the federal government as that given to American rapper A$AP Rocky, who was free of a Swedish jail final week pending a verdict in an assault case. The Trump administration dispatched O’Brien to watch proceedings in that case.

“I consider the ordeal of my husband and different unjust detention instances deserve the identical stage of consideration,” Hua stated.

Her husband’s imprisonment in Iran has affected the whole household, she stated. Their son, who was three years outdated when his father was taken into custody, is struggling along with his absence. Once they moved to a brand new house, the boy requested whether or not his father would be capable to discover them as soon as he got here out.

Hua stated Wang is confined with about 25 cellmates, discovering consolation studying the identical educational texts he studied earlier than his arrest. The books enable him to tune out the noises and smells of the jail, and permit him to briefly envision himself again in his beloved Princeton library.

Hua stated the final time she spoke together with her husband was on Wednesday. He advised her that he’d wish to take her on a “good trip to heal” and get better from the ordeal of his confinement. “And I actually look ahead to the day,” she stated. “I have never seen him for method too lengthy.”

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Comply with Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP




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