Middle East

American citizen held in Iran for more than six years released to seek medical treatment, UN spokesperson says

By Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

CNN – An elderly American wrongfully held in Iran for more than six years has been permitted to leave the country “to seek medical treatment abroad,” according to a statement from UN Secretary General spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

Baquer Namazi, 85, was released from detention, along with his son Siamak Namazi, Dujarric said.

The conditions of what appears to be a temporary release for both father and son are unclear at this time.

Baquer Namazi was facing health problems and developed further medical issues over the course of his six-year detainment, law firm Perseus Strategies, which represents the family, said in a statement last month.

Jared Genser, the Namazis’ attorney, said in a statement Saturday that “Baquer Namazi’s travel ban has been lifted and that, for the first time in seven years, Siamak Namazi is at home with his parents in Tehran. While these are critical first steps, we will not rest until the Namazis can all return to the United States and their long nightmare has finally come to an end.”

Siamak Namazi was blocked from leaving Iran after visiting in July 2015 and underwent months of interrogations before being arrested in October 2015. His father was lured to Iran under the false premise that he would be able to see his son. He was instead immediately taken into custody at that time, in February 2016.

US efforts to free the Namazis, as well as two other wrongfully detained Americans – Emad Sharghi and Morad Tahbaz – have failed to yield results. The State Department has said these conversations are being pursued separately from negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal, which have also yet to reach a breakthrough.

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.

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