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FILE PHOTO - Iranian-American Baquer Namazi is shown in this undated family handout picture released February 27, 2016. Courtesy Namazi family/Handout via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An 81-year-old Iranian-American man sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran for spying and cooperating with the United States has been returned to prison after a short medical leave, his lawyer said in a statement on Tuesday.

The decision to send Baquer Namazi back to prison, despite the advice of the Iranian government's own medical examiner, is "tantamount to a death sentence," said Jared Genser, an attorney for the Namazi family. Namazi has been hospitalized four times in the past year, Genser said.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Writing by Makini Brice)

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Reuters