Washington Post reporter back in Iran court Monday

Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian went on trial in Iran behind closed doors on Tuesday on spying charges.

TEHRAN - The detained Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian will be back in court Monday on what could be the final hearing in his trial for spying on Iran, his lawyer said.

"They told me that this will be the last hearing, but I cannot be 100 per cent sure because there are always unexpected matters," Rezaian's lawyer Leila Ahsan told AFP by telephone on Saturday.

Rezaian, a 39-year-old dual Iranian-American citizen, who until his arrest was working as the US newspaper's Tehran correspondent, has been in prison in the Iranian capital for more than a year.

His trial, on charges of "espionage, collaboration with hostile governments, gathering classified information and disseminating propaganda against the Islamic republic," started in May.

Monday's hearing at a Revolutionary Court, which usually presides over political cases or those related to national security, will be the fourth in the case. The trial has been held behind closed doors.

"I've asked for his release," Ahsan said, reiterating that she had applied for bail but it has not been given.

Once the judge has delivered the verdict, "the case should go before the Court of Appeal," she said, without giving details but suggesting the case could have secondary proceedings.

Rezaian was arrested with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, also a journalist, at their home in Tehran on July 22, 2014.

Salehi and a photographer who was arrested on the same day were released on bail after two and a half months in custody.

The journalist, his family and Washington Post executives categorically deny the accusations.

According to his family, Rezaian's health has been deteriorating. He needs to receive medication to combat high blood pressure.

US President Barack Obama and other top official have urged Iran to release the journalist, but Tehran does not recognise dual nationality and says only the judiciary can decide Rezaian's fate.

Rezaian's detention came as Iran was engaged in nuclear talks with six major world powers, including the United States which has no diplomatic ties with Tehran since 1980.

Iran reached the historic deal over its disputed nuclear programme last month with the world powers but it has yet to be implemented.