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Iran allows ailing American Baquer Namazi to leave the country for treatment : NPR


An 85-year-old American and former United Nations official was allowed to leave Iran today after being detained there for more than six years.

Baquer Namazi was flying to Muscat, Oman, said a lawyer representing the Namazi family. Lawyer Jared Genser said: “After a short break from work, he will leave Oman and go to Abu Dhabi. While in the United Arab Emirates, Namazi will undergo surgery to clear blockages in the arteries that can lead to a stroke.

The case of Namazi and his son, both US-Iranian nationals, has received international attention and has been the subject of indirect negotiations between the United States and Iran for many years.

In 2015, his son Siamak Namazi was arrested while on a business trip in Iran. Elder Namazi was arrested during a visit to try to free his son – both were sentenced to prison for what the United States considers to be false espionage.

Through their family lawyer, Babak Namazi, Namazi’s other son, said: “It is impossible to articulate and fully describe how I feel. I am grateful because a long time later, I will soon to hug my father again.” In recent years, I thought that this day would never happen. “

But he noted that the “nightmare” continued for his brother and for two other Americans held in Iran.

Siamak Namazi, 51, had been in Iran’s notorious Evin prison until the weekend, when Iran allowed him to go to his family home in Tehran for an extended week so he could reunite there with his father. me. The program can be extended but he is not allowed to leave Iran.

The United Nations and Oman helped broker the releases. Iranian officials have repeatedly said they want to swap the Westerners they are holding for Iranians being held in the US and elsewhere.

In 2016, when the Iran nuclear deal was implemented, the Obama administration released seven Iranians from prison and pardoned the others when Iran released Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and four other Americans. In 2019, the Trump administration released an Iranian scientist accused of violating sanctions in exchange for a Princeton University graduate studying in Iran.

Iranian media reported that the travel permit for Baquer Namazi was part of a deal to release some Iranian assets frozen in foreign banks. But the US State Department denied that on Tuesday, calling it “completely untrue.”

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