UPDATE: 5:07 a.m. EDT -- A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary confirmed that Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian has been convicted of espionage, the Associated Press (AP) reported Monday, citing state media.
"He [Rezaian] has been convicted, but I don't have the verdict's details," Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi told state TV, according to the AP. Rezaian, who is the Post’s Tehran bureau chief, can appeal the verdict within 20 days.
An Iranian court has issued a verdict in the espionage trial of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said Sunday, according to various media outlets. The official did not, however, offer any details about the verdict, or say if Rezaian was sentenced.
Rezaian's family said the ambiguity surrounding the verdict "follows an unconscionable pattern by Iranian authorities of silence, obfuscation, delay and a total lack of adherence to international law, as well as Iranian law," CNN reported.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said the U.S. government had not received details related to the ruling.
— Edward Herbert (@ed_herbert) October 11, 2015
Rezaian , the Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran, has been held in Iranian jail since July 2014. His family and press freedom activists have decried the charges against him as unjustified and false.
"This vague and puzzling statement by the government of Iran only adds to the injustice that has surrounded Jason’s case since his arrest 15 months ago," Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, said in a statement, responding to the supposed verdict. "Jason is a victim -- arrested without cause, held for months in isolation, without access to a lawyer, subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse, and now convicted without basis."
The Iranian spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, said the verdict can be appealed by Rezaian or his lawyer within the next 20 days.
— CNN International (@cnni) October 11, 2015
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that freedom for Rezaian and several other Americans being held can be expedited if the U.S. agrees to release Iranians being held in the U.S. reportedly on charges related to violating economic sanctions. Some have speculated that following the Iran nuclear agreement, the Iranian government might push for a prisoner swap.
Doug Jehl, the foreign editor of the Post, said Sunday that the lack of a transparent ruling "suggests once again that Jason is not really a prisoner; he's a bargaining chip being used by the Iranian government to extract some concessions from the U.S.," CNN reported.