Iranian-American Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, currently on trial for spying, and his Iranian wife Yeganeh Salehi are shown in Tehran on September 10, 2013
Iranian-American Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, currently on trial for spying, and his Iranian wife Yeganeh Salehi are shown in Tehran on September 10, 2013 © - AFP Photo/File
Iranian-American Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, currently on trial for spying, and his Iranian wife Yeganeh Salehi are shown in Tehran on September 10, 2013
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AFP
Last updated: January 1, 1970

Washington Post reporter trial resumes in Iran

The mother of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, on trial in Iran for espionage, told reporters outside a Tehran court Monday that she hopes he will be freed on bail.

Rezaian, the newspaper's Tehran Correspondent, was detained in the capital almost a year ago in a case that has run parallel to Iran's nuclear talks with world powers led by the United States.

The diplomacy is now approaching its endgame in Vienna.

Rezaian, a dual Iranian-American citizen, is accused of spying for the United States by collecting confidential information, cooperating with hostile governments and disseminating propaganda against Iran.

But the 39-year-old reporter's family has said he is being used as a pawn in an internal political power struggle related to the nuclear talks.

His mother Mary, as at past hearings, was not allowed into the trial's third session but said she believed the reporter could be granted bail.

"Jason has done nothing wrong," she said.

"He is not a murderer, he is not a spy. This type of detention is hurting him, it's hurting his family. We want him on bail, released with his family."

Rezaian's relatives have frequently expressed fears for his health, citing his need for medication to combat high blood pressure.

It is not known when the trial will resume, though a judiciary spokesman said a date for a fourth hearing would be announced later.

Rezaian denies the spying accusations. His lawyer, Leila Ahsan, has said there is "no proof" in the case file but her past requests for bail have been refused.

The journalist's fate has been shrouded in secrecy since he was arrested along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, also a journalist, at home in Tehran on July 22 last year.

Salehi was released on bail after two-and-a-half months in custody and she was present alongside Rezaian's mother outside court on Monday.

During the last session of the trial on June 8, the journalist was given his first opportunity to defend himself.

The United States has criticised the trial's "complete lack of transparency", and says Tehran should drop the "absurd" spying charges that Rezaian's brother called "laughable".

However, Iran does not recognise dual nationality and says the case is purely a matter for the Tehran judiciary.

The California-born journalist -- his late father was Iranian -- is one of four Americans that President Barack Obama has urged Iran to return home.

The others are pastor Saeed Abedini, in jail for more than two years after being convicted of undermining national security, and former US Marine Amir Hekmati, who is serving 10 years for cooperating with hostile governments.

A fourth US citizen, retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, went missing in southern Iran eight years ago.

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