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Fri Mar 3, 2017, 03:59 PM

Trump promised to not let Iran jail Americans. When will he help free my father and brother?

By Babak Namazi March 3 at 10:17 AM

Babak Namazi lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

On Oct. 23, 2016, during the height of the American presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump made a promise to the American people that I hope he can keep. He tweeted, “Well, Iran has done it again. Taken two of our people and asking for a fortune for their release. This doesn’t happen if I’m president.” He was talking about my father, Baquer Namazi, and my brother, Siamak Namazi, who had each been sentenced to 10 years in prison days earlier for allegedly “collaborating with the enemy,” the United States. A month into the new administration, I was in Washington to tell President Trump that I am counting on him to make good on his word.

Both my father and my brother are dual Iranian American citizens who have committed no crimes. My family had remained silent for close to a year about this injustice, hoping that Baquer and Siamak would be quietly released once Iran acknowledged their obvious innocence. In fact, in private negotiations with the Obama administration, Iran had actually promised to release Siamak, but instead arrested my father, too. Our hopes were crushed when, in a perversion of justice, both were given extraordinary sentences. Their baseless convictions and the horrific conditions of detention force me to speak out on their behalf.

My father is a retired UNICEF official who devoted his career to under-served populations around the world. Upon retirement, he returned to Iran to dedicate his remaining years to volunteering with projects on poverty eradication. Siamak worked globally as a business consultant. In 2013, he devoted several months to researching the humanitarian impact of sanctions on Iran and presented his report at the Woodrow Wilson Center. His report contributed to targeted changes in U.S. policies to allow for more lifesaving medical supplies to reach the people of Iran.

There is no rational explanation for why the Iranian authorities targeted Siamak and Baquer — their humanitarian work only stood to benefit the Iranian people. Yet on July 18, 2015, after a weekend visit to see our parents, Siamak was stopped at Tehran Airport by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and his passport was confiscated. Over the next three months, Siamak was interrogated daily. Then on Oct. 13, 2015, Siamak was arrested and taken to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. My father was arrested a few months later by the IRGC on Feb. 22, 2016, and also brought to Evin Prison. There were never any formal charges, though the authorities and some media outlets have spawned lies accusing them of being saboteurs. The allegations are not true.


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Reply Trump promised to not let Iran jail Americans. When will he help free my father and brother? (Original post)
DonViejo Mar 2017 OP
Blue_Tires Mar 2017 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Mar 3, 2017, 06:07 PM

1. Namazi is actually trying to hold Trump to a promise?

He isn't very familiar with Trump's track record, is he?

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