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Next step in U.S. reporter's Iran spy trial?

The closed trial of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian began last week inside a Revolutionary Court in Tehran
New hearing set for reporter charged with espionage in Iran 02:19

TEHRAN, Iran -- Jason Rezaian is a California native and Iranian-American dual national. The Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief was arrested and has been put on trial for alleged espionage in Iran.

For more than 10 months, Rezaian has been held at Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.

Until last summer he was living with his wife just a couple miles west of Evin, in a neighbourhood of high-rise apartments and middle class families.

His articles for the Washington Post explored a country that has long been closed to most Americans.

One of his last stories described baseball in Iran. He loved Iranian cuisine, and made a cameo appearance on CNN's food show "Parts Unknown" with chef Anthony Bourdain.

Brother of jailed reporter in Iran speaks out 03:44

Then, with no warning, one night last summer security men raided his apartment.

It wasn't until last week, May 26, that he finally got his day in court -- in a closed trial controlled by Iranian hardliners.

On that first day of the trial, Rezaian's lawyer Leila Ahsan didn't speak. She didn't get a chance to begin her defense.

Very little is known about what actually did happen inside the courtroom, and Rezaian's family had been left to wonder what the next step in the case might be. On Tuesday, they got news that gave them, at least, another date to focus on.

Rezaian's mother, who is in Tehran, told Palmer that according to his lawyer, he would be back in court for a second session on Monday.

There's still no indication as to what that second session might hold, but at least his family knows the case apparently hasn't been decided before Ahsan even gets a chance to defend her client.

The trial is so secret and sensitive that Ahsan would only agree to speak to us by phone, and only to say that her client is innocent.

Asked whether Rezaian could hope for a fair trial in Iran, Ahsan said it "would be illegal for me to comment further."

But conservative media in Iran are commenting plenty, says Palmer. Even before a verdict is delivered, they've dubbed him a spy who sold information to the U.S., and who deserves to be locked up.

Stuck in the detention section of Evin, run by Iran's security services, Rezaian has lost about 30 pounds. He's been experiencing nagging problems with teeth and eyes.

He's allowed one phone call per week with his wife and his mother, who came to Tehran for the hearing but wasn't allowed in to witness the closed proceedings.

His family and other supporters have launched an online "Free Jason," campaign, and a petition on calling for his immediate release has gained almost 440,000 signatories.

Rezaian's brother Ali is to testify before the House Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, urging the U.S. government to push for his release.

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