US citizen Siamak Namazi returned to an Iranian prison today after being temporarily released by the authorities in Tehran earlier this month.
“His permit, which began on October 1, was renewable and had already been renewed once on October 8,” explained a statement released by Namazi pro bono consultant Jared Genser. “Late this morning (Tehran time), Siamak was taken into custody by the IRGC and forced to return to Evin prison.”
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Upon his release earlier this month, Iran claimed through state media that it was proof of the regime’s “good faith”.
Namazi, now 50, was convicted in Iran on suspicion of spying and has been detained since 2015. The State Department calls the charges unfounded.
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Namazi’s 85-year-old father, Baquer, had also been detained in Iran, but was granted permission to leave the country last week in order to seek medical treatment.
In a statement today, Siamak’s brother Babak Namazi said, “I was sincerely confident for the first time that my father’s departure was the start of a new, less painful chapter in the struggle to reunite our family. But Siamak’s return to Evin shattered that hope. ” He added: “There is absolutely no reason why he should be in prison – there has never been.”
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While the talks have stalled, the Biden administration is still trying to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, but has consistently claimed that the issue of unjustly detained Americans is a separate negotiation.
Asked today whether Namzi was sent back to prison, State Department spokesman Ned Price said it was a “tremendous setback,” adding, “Siamak Namazi and other Americans who are being unfairly detained in Iran, they are detained on illegal grounds. They should be We are working to do everything possible to advance the prospects of their release and their safe return to their families as soon as possible. “
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