Press Release by National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
Washington, D.C. - NIAC President Trita Parsi released the following statement after Siamak and Baquer Namazi were reportedly sentenced to ten-year terms in prison:
“The sentencing of Siamak and Baquer Namazi to ten-year prison terms is a gross injustice that should deeply embarrass the Iranian government. We urge Iran to immediately release the Namazis - as well as all dual nationals unjustly detained in Iran on spurious charges - so that they can reunite with their families.
“Both Siamak and Baquer Namazi have been denied basic due process and all indications are that the Iranian government has been using them as political pawns in violation of its own laws and basic human decency. Siamak dedicated significant portions of life to helping the people of Iran. For instance, he conducted a study on how sanctions were fueling medical supply shortages in Iran. Baquer is a dedicated humanitarian who spent his career working for UNICEF, and now suffers from medical conditions that could worsen during imprisonment. His imprisonment appears solely intended as an effort to break Siamak’s refusal to confess to bogus charges.
“Similarly, the release of the video of Siamak’s arrest seem to be aimed at inflicting humiliation, but in reality only reveals the inhumanity of Siamak and Baquer’s captors.
“The sentencing of the Namazis follows a similar sentencing handed down last month to American resident Nazar Zikka. Simultaneously, hardline Iranian news sources also announced three other dual nationals - Farhad Abd Saleh, Kamran Qaderi and Alireza Omidvar - were also sentenced each to 10 years of jail under the same charge of allegedly “spying and cooperating with the US government against Iran”. The detention of several of these individuals was previously undisclosed. However, based on the Iranian government’s repeated violations of basic due process and use of dual nationals as bargaining chips, these convictions can only be viewed with severe skepticism.
“Like the charges levied against other dual nationals imprisoned by Iran’s internal security apparatus, the charges appear politically calculated. If the Iranian government wishes to see the country integrate in the global economy following the nuclear accord, it will have to take serious action to address the arrests of dual nationals and others innocent of wrong-doing conducted by hardline elements in Iran.
“For the United States, the sentencing is a clear signal that more political capital and attention needs to be dedicated to securing the release of the Namazis and other Americans imprisoned in Iran. The United States should leave no stone unturned in utilizing diplomatic channels to press the Iranians to secure their release.”
Iran Rejects U.S. Interference Over Jailed Dual Nationals - Iran says it won't accept any U.S. "interference" after Washington demanded the release of an Iranian-American businessman and his 80-year-old father. Iranian officials announced on October 18 that Siamak and Baquer Namazi had been jailed for 10 years for "espionage and collaboration with the American government." 10/19/16
Iran Sentences Iranian-American Businessman, His Father Each To 10 Years - An Iranian-American businessman and his 80-year-old father have reportedly been given 10 years in prison each for cooperation with the United States. Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi, were jailed for "collaborating with the hostile American government," the Mizan news agency reported on October 18. 10/18/16
Muhammad Ali's Widow Calls on Iran to Free Imprisoned Iranian-American Son and Father - The widow of American boxing legend Muhammad Ali has called on Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, to free Iranian-Americans Siamak Namazi and his father Bagher Namazi. "I would like to request that your Excellency show Islamic mercy towards these two individuals who are pure-hearted citizens of our world, and allow these Muslims to be reunited with their family in this holy month (Muharram, marking the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala on the first month of the Islamic calendar)," wrote Lonnie Ali in a letter to Khamenei.
Iran Hard-Liners Release Video Showing Detained Iranian-American Businessman - Iranian hard-line media have released a video showing detained Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi. Iran's judiciary news agency posted a minute-long video on October 17 showing a montage of clips including Namazi in a conference room, his arms raised at his sides, and his U.S. passport. 10/17/16
Michael Weiss and the Iran-U.S. Hardline Nexus That Led Iranian-American to Evin Prison - How Daily Beast Editor, Michael Weiss Helped Send Iranian-American to Torture Chambers of Evin Prison -Richard Silverstein, Unz Review
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
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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