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Reporter Detained In Iran Possibly Compromised By U.S. Intelligence Agent

Iranian-American Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian (right) and his Iranian wife Yeganeh Salehi pose while covering a press conference at Iran's Foreign Ministry in Tehran in September 2013.

Iran's top diplomat has suggested that an intelligence operative, possibly linked to the U.S. government, may have taken advantage of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who was jailed in Iran on espionage charges.

"There are people who take advantage of the needs of some people who try to get a visa...for their wives to come to the United States, and make demands that are illegal and dangerous and damaging to the professionalism of a journalist," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a think-tank discussion in New York.

Rezaian, detained last year, was charged with "collaborating with hostile governments" and "propaganda against the establishment."

Zarif declined to provide further details, but called the charges "very serious."

"I hope he is cleared. But he will have to face court. He is an Iranian citizen," he said.

"It is unfortunate that some low-level operative tried to take advantage of him."

Based on reporting by Reuters