Family: Another US Citizen Detained In Iran… (Full Report)
Iranian authorities have arrested a U.S. citizen whose son has been detained in Iran for the last four months, friends and family said Wednesday, describing what would be the first such action against an American national in Iran since last month’s prisoner swap between the two countries.
Baquer Namazi, whose son Siamak has been held since October, was arrested on Monday, his wife wrote in a Facebook post. She said she was told he is now in Tehran’s Evin prison.
“I must share the shocking and sad news that Baquer was arrested,” Effie Namazi posted. “Now both my innocent son Siamak and my Baquer are in prison for no reason. This is a nightmare I can’t describe.”
She said she and a lawyer have been unable to get more information or see her husband, who suffers from “serious heart and other conditions” that require medication.
Appearing at a Senate panel hearing Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said he was engaged on the matter but couldn’t comment because of privacy considerations.
“We are aware of reports that a U.S. citizen was detained in Iran,” State Departmentspokesman Mark Toner said. “The U.S. Department of State has no higher priority than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas. We take our obligation to assist U.S. citizens abroad seriously.”
Haleh Esfandiari, a friend of the family and a Mideast expert at the Wilson Center, said Namazi is more than 80 years old and a dual U.S.-Iranian national.
“I’m in a state of shock,” said Esfandiari, who was detained herself in Iran for more than three months in 2007. Her take: “They want Siamak to make concessions that he wasn’t willing to make.” More