The United States on Tuesday blasted the "complete lack of transparency" in the trial in Iran of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and renewed calls for Tehran to drop "absurd" spying charges.
"While we call for this trial to be open, we also maintain that Jason should never have been detained or put on trial in the first place," said National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan.
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She added that Washington was monitoring the case "as closely as possible" as Rezaian went on trial behind closed doors in the Tehran revolutionary court, according to the official IRNA news agency.
"The fact that Jason's trial has been closed to the public, including Jason's immediate family, fits the pattern of a complete lack of transparency and lack of due process that we've seen since Jason was first detained," Meehan said in a statement.
"We continue to call for all of these absurd charges to be dropped and for Jason to be released immediately."
With the clock ticking down to a June 30 deadline for a deal on curtailing's Iran's nuclear ambitions, Meehan insisted that on the sidelines of the talks with world powers, US officials "always raise the cases of detained and missing US citizens with Iranian officials."