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    Hekmati put on trial swiftly

    The prosecution said it was seeking the death penalty, the Fars news agency reported.

    Hekmati’s attorney countered that Hekmati had tried to penetrate Iran’s intelligence service but had been detected and blocked from doing so.  He argued that under Iranian law the intention to infiltrate Iran’s spy agency is not a crime.

    Hekmati was quoted by Fars as telling the court, “I was fooled by the US intelligence services.  Even though I entered Iran with the mission of infiltrating the Iranian intelligence services,… I did not want to hurt Iran.  I had the intention of living in Iran and not returning to the United States.”

    If he had returned, he would have forfeited the $500,000 that the prosecution said he was promised by the CIA.

    The judge hearing the case, Abol-Qasem Salavati, a well-known hardliner, said he would render a verdict after another hearing.  He did not set a date.

    The trial was remarkably swift, coming only nine days after his arrest was announced and his confession broadcast.

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