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Iran professor says he was sentenced to a year in jail for questioning nuclear policy

An Iranian university professor says a court has sentenced him to a year in jail for criticizing the country's nuclear policy.

Sadegh Zibakalam, a professor of politics at Tehran University, wrote on his Facebook page that the court sentenced him on Wednesday to 12 months in prison over an open letter to a hard-line journalist in January in which he asked: "What are the benefits of the nuclear program for the country?"

Zibakalam said he got another six months for questioning the sentencing to death of a billionaire, who was executed in May after being convicted of bank fraud.

The 66-year-old liberal professor, who has a history of questioning the policies of hard-liners in Iran, said he had immediately appealed the verdict.