As the Biden administration considers lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian-American Siamak Namazi entered his 2,060th day of imprisonment by the regime.
“2,060 days since our beloved Siamak was unlawfully and unjustly taken hostage by the #IRGC in #Iran. He has committed no crime! This travesty of justice must end – he should be freed and return home to his loved ones,” tweeted the twitter page FreeTheNamazis Wednesday.
Siamak was detained in October 2015, followed shortly by his 84-year-old father Bagher Namazi’s imprisonment in 2016.
Bagher was reportedly detained when he went to Iran after receiving assurances that he would be allowed to visit his son, Siamak.
Both men are being held by the regime on alleged convictions of working with the U.S. government. These accusations have been denied.
Both father and son have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In October 2020, Siamak’s brother Babak Namazi expressed fear that Iran would use American hostages as pawns in nuclear negotiations with the U.S.
This fear continues to be relevant as the Biden administration holds talks with Iran to potentially lift sanctions and revive the 2015 JCPOA.
“I am in constant fear that Iran will reach for its most vulnerable and accessible pawns: American hostages,” wrote Babak in an October 2020 op-ed for The Washington Post.
“It is long past time for the world to convey the clear message to Iran that its hostage-taking is not an effective foreign policy tool and that its attempts to use it as such will not be tolerated,” Babak continued.
In February, Babak called on the Biden administration to ensure his family’s release prior to solidifying any deal with the Iranian regime.
“As the Biden administration develops its new Iran policy, my family expects that President Biden and his administration will not make concessions or deals with Iran that do not include and indeed require as a precondition the release of my father and Siamak,” said Babak according to reports.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS News in February that the U.S. was discussing the return of several American hostages, calling it a “significant priority” to bring the hostages home.
“We will not accept a long-term proposition where they continue to hold Americans in an unjust and unlawful manner,” said Sullivan.
The U.S. is currently engaged in indirect nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna where Iran has doubled-down on many of its nuclear deal violations in the apparent hope that the U.S. will bow to pressure first and release economic sanctions critical to the regime’s survival.