American Prisoners Languish In Iran

Prisoners Raise ‘Legitimate And Serious Concerns About This Deal’


SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): “There are legitimate and serious concerns about this deal. For example... Hostages remain in Iranian custody. We will have to work hard to fight Iran’s malign efforts to wreak havoc in the region.” (“Why I’m Supporting An Imperfect Iran Deal,” Medium, 8/6/15)


The Prisoners: Amir Hekmati, Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, & Robert Levinson

“The hostages include Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian, who faces a trumped-up charge of ‘propaganda against the state’; pastor Saeed Abedini, who ran afoul of the Iranian government by attending Christian gatherings; former Marine Amir Hekmati, accused of spying for the CIA; and retired DEA and FBI agent Robert Levinson, taken in 2007 while visiting Iran’s Kish Island.” (Op-Ed, “Iran Nuclear Deal Left U.S. Hostages Behind,” The Orange County Register, 8/28/15)


Hekmati: ‘There Has Been No Serious Response To This Blatant And Ongoing Mistreatment Of Americans By Iran’s Ministry Of Intelligence And They Continue On With Impunity’

AMIR HEKMATI’s Relatives: “Relatives of a Marine veteran incarcerated in Iran for more than three and a half years sent a letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday, dictated by him over the phone from prison…” (“American Marine Veteran Held In Iran Assails ‘Serial Hostage-Taking,’” The New York Times, 4/21/15)

  • AMIR HEKMATI: “As a fellow American and combat veteran, I am writing to bring to your attention my situation and that of a long list of my fellow Americans. For nearly three and a half years, I have been falsely imprisoned and treated inhumanely by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence as a part of an ongoing propaganda campaign. … While I am thankful that the State Department and the Obama administration has called for my release and that of my fellow Americans, there has been no serious response to this blatant and ongoing mistreatment of Americans by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and they continue on with impunity. … As a war veteran who defended our nation in its time of need, I ask that you also work to defend my dignity and that of my fellow Americans by putting in place serious consequences for this serial hostage-taking and mistreatment of Americans by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence for clearly illegal purposes. This has been going on far too long.” (Amir Hekmati, Letter To Congress, 4/21/15)

MAGHMEH ABEDINI, Wife of Saeed Abedini: “I stand before you today not as a lawyer or politician, but as the wife of a husband who is imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith. My husband, Saeed Abedini, is a U.S. citizen who Iran sentenced to 8 years because he peacefully gathered with other Christians to study the Bible, a lawful act even under Iranian law but which the government of Iran deemed in his case to threaten the national security of Iran. For the past 3 years I have been carrying with me a deep excruciating pain knowing that my husband continues to suffer yet another day in one of the worst prisons in the world.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hearing, 6/2/15)

  • ABEDINI: “Over the last three years, I have had to watch my two children, Rebekka (who is 8 years old) and Jacob (who is 7 years old), suffer daily as they have grown up without a father or a mother. Many times I have contemplated staying at home and holding my babies at a time that they need me the most. Yet, I cannot imagine not fighting for my husband`s release for even one day while he suffers in the Iranian prison. … I am here today as single mother who is trying to be strong for her children, and as a wife who humbly admits, I need your help. I cannot bear to look at my children`s longing eyes one more time and explain to them why their daddy is still not home. I cannot bear to see their hopes crushed again. I cannot imagine my husband spending yet another day in an Iranian prison. I need your help. I cannot do this on my own.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hearing, 6/2/15)

ALI REZAIAN, Brother Of Jason Rezaian: “My name is Ali Rezaian and I am here on behalf of my brother Jason Rezaian, who has been detained in Iran for almost a year for offenses he did not commit. … Jason`s goal has always been to move his readers beyond the stereotypes and into the rich and complex fabric of Iranian society. Despite the fact that he has always sought to present a balanced and fair view of Iran, Jason was arrested along with his wife without warning in July 2014 and he has been detained in Tehran`s notorious Evin Prison for the past 315 days.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hearing, 6/2/15)

  • REZAIAN: “On the night of July 22, 2014, Jason and his wife Yeganeh were taken from their home in Tehran by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. They were detained without charges, and confined to separate cells in Evin Prison, a cold and intimidating place with a dark history, where they were relentlessly interrogated by Iranian intelligence and security agents and allowed virtually no contact with each other or the outside world. Yeganeh was released on bail after 72 days in prison much of it filled with frightening interrogations and isolation but she is now prohibited from leaving Iran and banned from working as a journalist. My brother remained in prison, where he continued to be repeatedly interrogated without access to counsel. Although he became ill and suffered from infections, he was deprived of medical care for long stretches of time. For roughly five months after Jason`s arrest, the Iranian government refused to fully disclose the basis for his detention or to bring formal charges against him. Jason was formally charged on December 7, 2014 in a ten-hour long court proceeding that was closed to the public.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hearing, 6/2/15)

DANIEL LEVINSON, Son Of Robert Levinson: “My name is Daniel Levinson, and I am the eldest son of Robert Levinson, who was taken hostage on the Iranian island of Kish on March 9th, 2007. Unlike the other three Americans currently imprisoned in Iran, the government has never acknowledged arresting him. … My father is the longest-held hostage in American history. No U.S. citizen has been held overseas longer than he has, ever.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hearing, 6/2/15)

  • “Iran’s Press TV had reported at the time that Levinson ‘has been in the hands of Iranian security forces since the early hours of March 9,’ and noted that ‘authorities are well on the way to finishing the procedural arrangements that could see him freed in a matter of days.’ Levinson’s whereabouts have been in question ever since. It is believed Levinson, who is the father of seven children, was taken hostage and interrogated so he could be used as a bargaining chip for future negotiations between Iran and the United Sates.” (“Lost In Iran: Where Is Robert Levinson?” Breitbart.com, 7/21/15)



Related Issues: Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal