On July 16, news came out that an American graduate student at Princeton University named Xiyue Wang had been sentenced to 10 years in an Iranian prison for “espionage.” Wang studies 19th century Eurasian history, so it makes sense that he would want to access sources in Iran. He is alleged to have taken photographs of documents, which is exactly how historians do their research in archives today. As the news broke, Princeton finally issued an acknowledgement that he had been arrested and was there doing research for his dissertation at that university.

Over the last decade numerous American and British nationals of Iranian descent have been held, detained, jailed and even convicted at the hands of the Iranian regime. Some of the more well-known include: Washington Post reporter, Jason Rezaian; former U.S. marine, Amir Hekmati; businessman, Siamak Namazi, and his father; pastor, Saeed Abedini; and a British citizen,  Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was visiting her parents with her young daughter.  Most of the American and British citizens known to have been arrested and convicted by Iran in the last decade were dual citizens or of Iranian descent.

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