August 17, 2022
Several US lawmakers and officials deplored the detention of Iranian-American Siamak Namazi on Tuesday, his 2500th day in Iran’s notorious Evin prison.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted that Namazi has now spent “2,500 days wrongfully detained in Iran,” adding that “We are determined to secure his freedom and ensure all Americans who have been wrongfully detained by Iran, including his father Baquer (Bagher), can return home.”
Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley tweeted that “Iran’s unjust imprisonment of US citizens for use as political leverage is outrageous,” urging the Islamic Republic to allow Siamak, and his father, as well as other American citizens.
Calling on Iran to free all Americans, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) called it “unconscionable” that Namazi has spent 2,500 days in prison on “fraudulent charges,” saying that “The regime, in addition to its horrendous support for terrorism abroad, continues to play political games with the lives of innocent Americans.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R- Florida) slammed Tehran’s hostage diplomacy, noting Siamak’s “suffering has gone on far too long” and calling for his release.
Echoing similar sentiments, US Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said that “He and all US hostages in Iran must be freed immediately.
In a message from prison, Namazi said that “the other hostages and I desperately need the Biden administration to match up claims that rescuing us is a priority with effective action…Today, our fate is subsumed under the nuclear talks and our freedom is contingent on their success.”
State Department spokesperson, Ned Price, said in his press briefing on Tuesday that the US has not tied the fate of Namazi and other hostages to the result of the nuclear talks to revive the 2015 deal.