The US House of Representative passed a resolution on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 urging Islamic Republic of Iran to release American prisoners being held as hostages.
Lawmakers approved the resolution by a voice vote a day after passing a sanctions package that included measures targeting Iran for its ballistic missile development.
“I hope that this resolution sends a strong message to Iran that this practice will not be tolerated," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the author of the resolution and chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee.
"I hope that it sends a strong message to our own administration that Congress is heavily invested in the fate of Americans being held by Iran,” she added.
The bipartisan resolution was cosponsored by Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
Prior to this resolution, White House issued a statement condemning the Islamic Republic policy of hostage taking.
“The United States condemns hostage takers and nations that continue to take hostages and detain our citizens without just cause or due process,” the White House statement read. “President Trump is prepared to impose new and serious consequences on Iran unless all unjustly imprisoned American citizens are released and returned.”
The Trump administration called on Iran to return Robert Levinson, who has been missing for more than a decade, along with father and son Baquer and Siamak Namazi, who were detained in 2015 and 2016.
In an exclusive interview with Nader Sadighi, Radio Farda senior Correspondent in Washington, Mrs. Levinson and her two sons urged the Iranian government to return Robert Levinson after ten years of captivity.
Nizar Zakka a US permanent resident who is also detained for a year in Iran over spying allegations has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $4.2 million fine, according to Jason Poblete Garcia his American attorney.
In an interview with Radio Farda he said the Iranian authorities have not been cooperative with Mr. Zakka's case.