Biden administration is seeking the release of Americans held in Iran

In 2016, the Iranian government seized American citizen Baquer Namazi after he went to the country in an effort to free his son, Siamak Namazi.

Although the pair have remained in detention ever since, the Washington Examiner reported this week that the Biden administration is engaged in “indirect” talks to secure their freedom.  

The paper cited testimony offered by State Department special envoy Rob Malley to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday in which he said that discussions are taking place regarding the Namazis as well as two others.

“We’ve been involved in indirect negotiations with Iran to secure the release of our four citizens,” Malley was quoted as saying.

“Not easy”

“It is not easy,” he added. “As you could imagine, Iran is making requests that are very difficult to meet and sometimes are impossible to meet.

However, Malloy stressed that “we are continuing, and we will not stop until all four of them are home and reunited with their loved ones.”

For its part, the State Department released a statement in February which read, “Today marks six years since the Iranian government wrongfully detained Baquer Namazi solely for the purpose of using him as a political pawn.”

“In 2016, Baquer Namazi was arrested after traveling to Iran to help free his son, wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Siamak Namazi.  Both father and son were sentenced to ten years in prison on baseless charges.”

Demands for release

In addition to Baquer and Siamak Namazi, the statement also demanded that Iran release “their fellow U.S. citizens Emad Shargi and Morad Tahbaz, who is also a U.K. citizen.”

The Examiner noted that Tahbaz’s daughters, Tara and Taymoor, attended a rally outside the White House this month and have sought a meeting with President Joe Biden.

Tara was quoted as telling the paper, “We’ve been quiet until now and been very respectful in every turn of which we’ve taken to navigate this journey.”

She stressed, “We’re trying to make sure that we’re leaving no stone unturned and to not have any regrets of opportunity to be able to push to get him home as soon as possible.”

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