American Citizen Jailed in Iran for More Than Seven Years Pleads with President Biden for Help

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Image source: iranwire.com
Image source: iranwire.com

Iranian American Prisoner Implores President Biden to Secure His Release

Siamak Namazi, an Iranian American who has been imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin prison for over seven years, gave a rare interview to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on March 9. In the interview, he implored President Joe Biden to secure his release, as well as that of Emad Shargi and Morad Tahbaz, two other US nationals also held in Iranian prisons.

The Plight of US Nationals Imprisoned in Iran

Namazi, Shargi, and Tahbaz are all held in the same place, and Namazi expressed concern that the White House doesn’t appreciate the dire situation they are in. He also criticized Biden for not meeting with his family to offer them words of assurance.

A White House spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that senior officials from both the White House and State Department regularly meet and consult with the Namazi family and will continue to do so until the detention ends. The spokesperson also condemned Iran’s “unjust imprisonment and exploitation of US citizens for use as political leverage.”

Western governments have accused Iran of taking dual and foreign nationals hostage for use in prisoner swaps. Last month, reports indicated that indirect negotiations were underway between the US and Iran for a possible prisoner swap.

The Charges Against Namazi and His Father

Namazi, a Dubai-based businessman, was arrested in Iran in 2015 while on a business trip. He and his father, Baquer Namazi, were both convicted of spying charges, which the US government rejects as baseless. Baquer Namazi was able to leave Iran last year for medical treatment.

Conclusion

The imprisonment of Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, and Morad Tahbaz is a concerning issue that requires the attention of President Biden and the US government. While it is positive that the White House and State Department regularly meet and consult with the Namazi family, more decisive action is needed to secure the release of these US nationals. Iran’s practice of taking dual and foreign nationals hostage for use in prisoner swaps is unacceptable and must be condemned by the international community. It is important that the US government continues to work towards securing the release of all Americans unjustly detained abroad.