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Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang. Photo courtesy of the Wang family.

Princeton graduate student released from Iran

Smith, Menendez played key roles in advocating for Xiyue Wang

By David Wildstein, December 07 2019 12:27 pm

The White House announced today that Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang has been released from Iran, where he had been sentenced to 10 years in prison after his conviction on espionage charges.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) have taken leading roles in advocating for Wang’s release.

In May 2018, Smith made a personal appeal to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo during a meeting of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

“He has done nothing wrong,” Smith told Pompeo.  “He is in prison solely because he is an American.”

Smith’s office said the congressman spoke with Wang’s wife, Shia, this morning.

In a statement issued this morning, Menendez thanked the Swiss government for their help in securing Wang’s release.

“Iranian authorities arrested Xiyue Wang in 2016 and later charged him with completely fabricated and politicized accusations. Mr. Wang, an American citizen, was conducting scholarly research for his doctorate at Princeton,” Menendez said.  “For more than three years Iranian authorities have let him languish and kept his family, including his wife and young son, in anguish over his well-being and eventual return.”

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