Iranian authorities this week arrested the elderly father of an American jailed in Iran since October, the man’s family said on Wednesday.
Siamak Namazi, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was detained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in October while in Iran visiting family. Officials have yet to announce charges against him.
Baquer Namazi, Siamak’s father, was arrested late on Monday in Tehran, his wife Effie Namazi said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. The 80-year-old Namazi, also a dual Iranian-American citizen, was taken to Evin Prison, where his son is also being held, she said.
Asked at a Senate hearing about the elder Namazi’s arrest, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said: “I am very familiar with this and I am engaged on it specifically, but I am not permitted due to privacy reasons to go into details here.”
Baquer Namazi has a serious heart and other conditions which require special medication, Effie Namazi wrote in her post.
It’s unclear what trumped up charge Iran could possibly have leveled against an 80 year old man with heart trouble, and since the Iranian judiciary is almost entirely opaque it could be a while before anybody outside the Iranian government knows. It’s tempting to chalk this up to pre-election posturing by Iranian hardliners, but who knows?
I’m sure this will be blamed on Obama in the usual circles here in the US–after all, since he did a prisoner swap with the Iranians last month, that must have encouraged them to start arresting more Iranian-Americans, right? That’s sound logic, if you ignore the fact that the Iranians were already arresting American citizens long before last month’s prisoner exchange, I guess. Hopefully this arrest will raise international pressure on Iran to release both Namazis, perhaps once Friday’s election is over.
I need your help to keep this blog going! Please read this and consider contributing something. Also, while you’re out there on the internet tubes, please consider liking this blog’s Facebook page and following me on Twitter! And please share my work with your friends/followers to help me grow the audience around here! Thank you!