A U.S. businessman jailed in Iran has tried going on a hunger strike to improve his condition and has not been allowed to speak to his lawyer, relatives say. Siamak Namazi, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was detained by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in October while visiting relatives, according to his family. Iranian authorities have not announced any charges against him.
Namazi's mother, Effie Namazi, reported over the weekend that her son had started a hunger strike.
The strike "greatly increased the worries of his family," Effie Namazi wrote on Facebook. She urged Iranian officials to allow her to visit her son and convince him to stop the strike.
The plea was evidently effective, as on February 22 Effie Namazi said in a new Facebook posting that her son had broken the hunger strike and spoken to her by phone, Reuters reported.
"We thank God," she said.
Namazi most recently worked for Crescent Petroleum, an oil and gas company in the United Arab Emirates. Previously, he headed a consulting firm in Iran, where he was born. He was educated in the United States.
Based on reporting by Reuters
After Prisoner Swap, Anxiety Over Jailed Iranian-American Businessman
Iran has eagerly opened its doors to foreign investment now that a nuclear deal has cleared the way. So why is Iran still holding prisoner an Iranian-American businessman? This is one of the contradictions of the moment in Iran, where economic sanctions were lifted weeks ago. -Steve Inskeep, NPR - 2/18/16
Friends fear for U.S. businessman in Iran
Nearly a month after a prisoner deal between Washington and Tehran, the friends and family of business consultant Siamak Namazi -- who holds degrees from Tufts and Rutgers universities and has ties to many Washington foreign policy insiders -- fear he has been forgotten in the warm afterglow of last month's swap and are pressing the Obama administration to step up efforts to free him. -Michael Crowley, Politico - 2/10/16
Siamak Namazi's Friends Thought He'd Be Freed From Iranian Prison, But The Media Had It Wrong
Initial news reports from the official Iranian media outlet Islamic Republic News Agency incorrectly identified Siamak Namazi as one of the four Americans who would be released this past Saturday as part of a prisoner release agreement between Iran and the U.S. By the time IRNA had acknowledged its mistake, several journalists with large Western followings had already tweeted about Namazi's impending release. - Jessica Schulberg, Huffington Post - 1/20/16
Daily Beast Didn't Know American Was Stuck In Iran When It Published Anonymous Story Attacking Him
On Sept. 15, The Daily Beast published an article by "Alex Shirazi" -- a fake name that the news outlet said was a pseudonym for a "a well-known Iranian dissident" -- describing Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi as part of "The Shady Family Behind America's Iran Lobby." -Huffington Post - 12/18/15
The Truth About Siamak Namazi, the Iranian-American Arrested in Iran
"It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence." Siamak Namazi sent me an Internet meme with this quote only a few weeks ago. It was his clever way of responding to the heated discussions I was having on social media in his defense. The Daily Beast had just published an article attacking Siamak and his family, via a pseudonym, as Siamak was being interrogated in Iran. -Ahmad Kiarostami, Huffington Post - 11/28/15
Setting the Record Straight about Siamak Namazi
Over the past few days, disheartening news has emerged about the arrest of Siamak Namazi, a Dubai-based American-Iranian citizen whom the author knows very well. While the family has not confirmed the news, Siamak's friends believe that the situation may be the result of a misunderstanding which they hope will be resolved shortly. - 11/3/15
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