US calls for release of nationals detained in Iran139 views
His family believes that both men are in Tehran’s Evin prison, but there has been no public acknowledgement by the authorities of their case.
Iran does not recognize dual citizenship and has no diplomatic ties with the United States, whose citizens in Iran are represented by the Swiss embassy.
“We’re deeply concerned about reports of the detention of US citizens Siamak Namazi and Baquer Namazi in Iran,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
The State Department statement, in response to an AFP query, was the first official US acknowledgement of the identity of the detained men.
“According to reports, Siamak Namazi has been detained in Iran since October 2015, and his father Baquer was detained at the end of February,” Kirby said.
“We’re not aware of any charges against either men, and we believe that both reported detentions are unjust,” he continued.
“We call on Iran to allow consular access via Swiss authorities and to release both men as soon as possible so they can return to their families.”
A friend of Siamak Namazi, Reza Marashi, this week wrote a tribute to him on the website of the National Iranian American Council.
He described Namazi as an intelligent young man who was not involved in politics except for a time when he lobbied in Washington to draw attention to the suffering of Iranians under a US embargo on medicines.
“That’s how much he loves the country that is currently keeping him in prison,” Marashi wrote.
The older Namazi, Baquer, is reportedly a former UNICEF official, now retired. His wife, Siamak’s mother, drew attention to their arrest in a Facebook post last month.