UNITED STATES NEWS

A look at known Iranian-Americans held by Iran as the US seeks a prisoner release deal

Aug 10, 2023, 11:32 AM

Iran has transferred five Iranian-Americans from prison to house arrest, part of a possible deal over billions of dollars of Iranian assets frozen in South Korea.

Three of the five prisoners have been previously identified while two others have not been named publicly. Those identified include:

SIAMAK NAMAZI

Siamak Namazi, an energy executive, was arrested in 2015. He had been an advocate of closer ties between Iran and the West.

Iran sentenced both Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi, to 10 years in the country’s notorious Evin Prison on what the U.S. and U.N. say are trumped-up spying charges.

Baquer was placed under house arrest for medical reasons in 2018 but prevented from leaving Iran despite his family’s pleas that he travel to receive emergency heart surgery after suffering multiple hospitalizations. He ultimately left Iran in October 2022.

Siamak is the longest-held Iranian-American held in Tehran. He appealed to President Joe Biden in an essay in The New York Times in June 2022 as American and Iranian nuclear negotiators met for indirect talks in Doha, Qatar, demanding he intervene to “end this nightmare.”

EMAD SHARGHI

The murky espionage charges against Iranian-American businessman Emad Sharghi came to light in early 2021, when an Iranian court announced that the venture capitalist had been sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison.

His family says Iran had cleared him of spying charges in December 2019 after jailing and interrogating him for months. Iran says security forces then caught Sharghi on the country’s northwestern border and re-arrested him as he tried to flee Iran while free on bail.

MORAD TAHBAZ

Morad Tahbaz, a British-American conservationist of Iranian descent, was meant to be released from prison on furlough as part of Iran’s deal with the U.K. to resolve a long-running debt dispute in March 2022.

That agreement freed two high-profile detainees, charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and retired civil engineer Anoosheh Ashoori, who flew home to London. But Tahbaz remained stuck in Iran. Reports soon emerged that he was sent back to prison despite the furlough promise.

Tahbaz was caught in a dragnet targeting environmental activists while visiting Iran in January 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

United States News

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO - DECEMBER 9, 2019: A copy of the record album, 'Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison'...

Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Record Store Day, a holiday invented at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees in 2007, will be observed Saturday.

36 minutes ago

Associated Press

Former Arkansas governor, US Sen David Pryor dies at 89

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former Arkansas governor and U.S. Sen. David Pryor, a Democrat who was one of the state’s most beloved political figures and remained active in public service in the state long after he left office, has died. He was 89. Pryor, who went undercover to investigate nursing homes while a congressman, […]

40 minutes ago

Associated Press

A rabbi serving 30 years to life in his wife’s contract killing has died, prison officials say

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey rabbi serving a decadeslong sentence in a 1994 murder-for-hire plot targeting his wife has died. Fred Neulander, 82, was pronounced dead shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday at a hospital in Trenton after he was found unresponsive in his cell in the New Jersey State Prison infirmary, news outlets […]

49 minutes ago

Associated Press

Longtime AP journalist, newspaper publisher John Brewer dies at age 76

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — John Brewer, whose coast-to-coast journalism career spanned 50 years, including nearly two decades at The Associated Press, has died. He was 76. Brewer and his longtime friend Randy Johnson were on their annual fly fishing trip in Montana on Friday when the boat Brewer was in hit a submerged log […]

54 minutes ago

Associated Press

The House is on the brink of approving aid for Ukraine and Israel after months of struggle

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is pushing swiftly through a series of votes in a rare Saturday session to approve $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies, Democrats and Republicans joining together after a grueling monthslong fight over renewed American support for repelling Russia’s invasion. Each segment of the aid […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

The Senate passes a reauthorization of a key US surveillance program just after a midnight deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barely missing its midnight deadline, the Senate voted early Saturday to reauthorize a key U.S. surveillance law after divisions over whether the FBI should be restricted from using the program to search for Americans’ data nearly forced the statute to lapse. The legislation approved 60-34 with bipartisan support would extend for two […]

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

A look at known Iranian-Americans held by Iran as the US seeks a prisoner release deal