Outlook for Iran’s Longest-Held Americans Echoes Broader Relationship: Dismal

It has been six years since an Iranian American enterprise marketing consultant, and later his father, have been arrested in Iran and so they stay there regardless of efforts by three White Home administrations to safe their launch.

Now the daddy, Baquer Namazi, an 84-year-old retired Unicef official, is described by his household as going through a probably imminent finish. He wants surgical procedure to open a close to full blockage of the 2 foremost arteries that provide blood to his mind, relations say, and with out therapy he might undergo a deadly stroke inside days.

They’re pleading with Iran to only let the daddy — who has been launched from jail however barred from journey — go away the nation, even when they maintain his 49-year-old son, Siamak, who stays in jail.

The household has written formal letters to President Joe Biden, U.N. Secretary Common António Guterres and a U.N. human rights official asking them to intervene and urge Iran to raise a journey ban on the daddy. The household additionally has despatched a letter to Iran’s authorities.

“I simply by no means imagined that cruelty might so systematically and for such a very long time proceed,” Mr. Namazi’s different son, Babak, who lives in Dubai, mentioned at a digital information convention on Monday. “How a lot time does my dad have?”

Siamak Namazi was arrested in 2015 whereas visiting Iran and his father was seized the next yr when he visited to verify on his arrested son. Each have been sentenced to 10 years on nebulous costs of cooperating with an enemy — that means the US. They’ve denied the costs.

The senior Mr. Namazi was launched from jail on a medical furlough in 2018 however Siamak stays incarcerated. In 2020, Iran’s judiciary knowledgeable the daddy that his sentence had been commuted and returned his bail.

Legally, he ought to be a free man, in line with his lawyer. However Iran has not renewed Mr. Namazi’s passport and has barred him from leaving the nation. His household and lawyer accuse Iran of holding father and son hostage for political leverage.

“Iran’s leaders have recognized intimately for years about Baquer’s declining well being and they’re, due to this fact, absolutely, fully, and completely accountable for something that occurs to him now,” mentioned Jared Genser, the household’s lawyer.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and his particular envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, mentioned Monday that Iran ought to let the daddy journey overseas for therapy.

“Baquer Namazi wants quick surgical procedure, and the Iranian authorities ought to enable him the medical consideration vital to save lots of his life,” Mr. Blinken mentioned in a Twitter posting. “It’s been virtually six years since he’s seen his youngsters.”

Iranian officers haven’t mentioned whether or not they may grant the daddy permission to go away. Iran’s Mission to the United Nations declined requests for remark.

No less than two Americans apart from the Namazis are held in Iran on murky costs of spying and threatening nationwide safety. Morad Tahbaz, 66, a businessman and conservationist, has been detained since 2018. Emad Sharghi, 56, a businessman, was arrested in January.

Iran and the US had been engaged in oblique negotiations for a prisoner alternate, however these efforts have been suspended when talks over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal have been halted in June.

The outlook for progress on the nuclear deal and a doable launch of Americans in Iran stays unclear.

If the senior Mr. Namazi is prohibited from leaving Iran he may have the surgical procedure there and has no restrictions on the physician or hospital of his alternative, his household mentioned. However Covid-19 is rampant and medical amenities are overstretched. Furthermore, the household mentioned, he wants a stress-free recuperation. And Mr. Genser mentioned Mr. Namazi’s insurance coverage, Aetna, wouldn’t pay for medical prices in Iran.

The youthful Mr. Namazi, who’s being held in Iran’s infamous Evin jail, turns 50 on Oct. 14. Ahmad Kiarostami, an in depth acquaintance who’s involved with him, mentioned that his good friend had maintained a optimistic spirit and humorousness till the latest information of his father’s deteriorating well being.

“He’s actually afraid that he would miss the possibility of seeing his father once more,” Mr. Kiarostami mentioned.

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