DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An Iranian-American held in Tehran reportedly has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, the latest dual national convicted in secret trials since Iran's nuclear deal with world powers.
Robin Shahini told Vice News in an interview aired late Monday that he "just laughed" after hearing his sentence, which was handed down after he was convicted of "collaboration with a hostile government."
Shahini reportedly gave the interview by telephone from Tehran's Evin prison. Iranian officials could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.
Shahini, a graduate student who lives in San Diego, was detained July 11 while visiting family in Iran.
He is one of several dual nationals sentenced to prison terms in closed-door hearings. Analysts believe hard-liners in Iran's government may use them as bargaining chips in future negotiations.