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updated: 2/20/2012 1:42 PM

Former Iran detainees: Publicity helped their case

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  • In this Dec. 27, 2011 file video frame grab made from the Iranian broadcaster IRIB TV, U.S. citizen Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, accused by Iran of spying for the CIA, sits in Tehran's revolutionary court in Iran. Hekmati's family is keeping quiet as legal and government officials work behind the scenes for his release, an approach which stands in stark contrast to cases of some other Americans and Canadians of Iranian descent who have been jailed in the country in recent years.

      In this Dec. 27, 2011 file video frame grab made from the Iranian broadcaster IRIB TV, U.S. citizen Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, accused by Iran of spying for the CIA, sits in Tehran's revolutionary court in Iran. Hekmati's family is keeping quiet as legal and government officials work behind the scenes for his release, an approach which stands in stark contrast to cases of some other Americans and Canadians of Iranian descent who have been jailed in the country in recent years.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

DETROIT -- The family of a former U.S. Marine sentenced to death in Iran is keeping quiet as legal and government officials work behind the scenes for his release.

The low public profile by the family of 28-year-old Amir Hekmati (hehk-MAH'-tee) stands in stark contrast to cases of some other Americans and Canadians of Iranian descent who've been jailed in the country in recent years.

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Political maneuvering inside the Iranian government as well as the lack of diplomatic relations and increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran make it difficult to know which approach works best.

Tehran accuses Hekmati of receiving special training and serving at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for an alleged intelligence mission. His Michigan family and U.S. officials have denied the charges.

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