An appeals court in Iran upheld the sentence previously handed down to two Iranian-American dual nationals, an elderly father and his son, The New York Times reported.
Baquer Namazi, 81, and his son Siamak, 45, were sentenced last year to 10 years in prison each for “collaborating with an enemy state [the U.S.],” charges that were never detailed.
Siamak was arrested last September, just a short time after the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was accepted by all parties. His father, a retired official with the United Nations, was arrested in February while visiting his son in jail.
Ironically, Siamak, a businessman, was connected to the National Iranian American Council, a pro-Iranian lobby group in Washington, D.C. He spoke out against U.S. sanctions on Iran and advocated for closer business ties between the countries. He was arrested in October of 2015 while visiting relatives in Iran.
The denial of the Namazis’ appeal comes after the imposition of new sanctions on Iran by the U.S. in recent weeks.
As pointed out previously by The Wall Street Journal, the payment by the Obama administration to Iran of $1.7 billion in cash received on the day a number of U.S. hostages were released “has created an incentive for them to imprison more Americans to trade for some future concession.”
Even considering the fact that Siamak was promoting the Iranian regime, the Journal continued, “the mullahs put their need for U.S. hostages above gratitude for such political assistance. Revolutions tend to devour their foreign sympathizers.”
The Namazis are held separately in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, where their health is said to be significantly deteriorating.
Their lawyer in Washington, Jared Genser, said Baquer, who is a survivor of a triple bypass heart surgery, reportedly lost 30 pounds and experiences shortness of breath, dizziness, confusion and hearing loss. Siamak, who has been mostly held in solitary confinement since his arrest, has been subjected to brutal interrogations which include being beaten and tasered.
Other foreigners held by Iran include: