Iranian American held in Tehran granted temporary release

An Iranian American businessman, Siamak Namazi who has been imprisoned in Iran for almost seven years has been released from Tehran’s Evin prison on a one-week, renewable furlough, the United Nations announced on Saturday.

Siamak was convicted of espionage-related charges rejected by Washington as baseless.

Separately, Namazi’s father and former United Nations official Baquer Namazi, who was also convicted on charges of “collaboration with a hostile government,” has been permitted to leave Iran for medical treatment, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement. He was charged in 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Iranian authorities released him on medical grounds in 2018 and closed his case in 2020, commuting his sentence to time served but effectively barring him from leaving the country.

Regardless, it remains uncertain whether these moves represent a step towards Siamak’s full release or a possible furlough for other U.S. citizens detained in Iran.

Image Credit: Reuters