The United States has called for the release of two Iranian-American citizens detained without charge in Tehran. Family members say businessman Siamak Namazi was arrested in October while his father Baquer, 80, was detained last month. Both men are believed to be in Tehran's notorious Evin prison.
"We're deeply concerned about reports of the detention of U.S. citizens Siamak Namazi and Baquer Namazi in Iran," State Department spokesman John Kirby said on March 18.
"We're not aware of any charges against either man, and we believe that both reported detentions are unjust," he said.
"We call on Iran to allow consular access via Swiss authorities and to release both men as soon as possible so they can return to their families."
Friends describe Siamak Namazi as a businessman who was not involved in politics except for a time when he lobbied Washington to end a U.S. embargo on selling medicines to Iran.
Baquer Namazi is a retired UNICEF official.
Based on reporting by AFP and Voice of America
Siamak Namazi Is a Good Man. Iran Should Release Him - My friend, Iranian-American consultant Siamak Namazi, has been in Tehran's Evin prison for five months. His 80-year old father, Baquer Namazi - a former senior UNICEF official - was imprisoned three weeks ago. The motives behind these arrests have been lucidly explained, but news of detained Iranian Americans dies when there are no developments on the ground. -Reza Marashi, Huffington Post 03/17/16
UNICEF Expresses Worry About Health Of Staffer Jailed In Iran- The United Nations Children's Fund on March 3 expressed concern about the health of an elderly former staff member who was jailed in Iran last week. Baquer Namazi was arrested on February 22 and taken to Tehran's Evin Prison, where his son Siamak has been jailed since October. Both Namazis are dual U.S.-Iranian citizens. 03/5/16
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
... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --