The lawyer for an Iranian-American detained in 2015 in Tehran has confirmed his client has been released on medical furlough.
Baquer Namazi is on medical furlough “for being sick and in advanced age,” Mehrdad Qorbani was cited as saying by the New York-based Center For Human Rights In Iran (CHRI) and the state-run Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA).
Namazi, former governor of the oil-rich province of Khuzestanin southwestern Iran during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, is among dozens of Iranians with dual citizenship who have been imprisoned in Iran.
The dual citizen of Iran and the United States traveled to Tehran in 2015 weeks after his son, Siamak Namazi, was detained and imprisoned at Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
According to Baquer Namazi’s Iranian lawyer, he has been on medical furlough for an extended amount of time. “I do not exactly remember the date of Mr. Namazi’s release, but he has been out for quite a long period of time,” Qorbani told CHRI.
Meanwhile, Qorbani reported that the cases of Baquer Namaziand his son have been transferred to Iran’s Supreme Court for their final verdict.
Baquer and Siamak Namazi are both accused of espionage in favor of “a hostile foreign government.”
Qorbani has pointed out that Iranian courts do not recognize the United States as a “hostile government.”
“It is expected that the Supreme Court would overrule the primary court’s verdict and return my clients’ case for the renewal of investigation,” he said.
In addition to the Namazis, other U.S. citizens and permanent U.S. residents have been arrested in Iran over the past two yearsinclude Princeton doctoral student Xiyue Wang; gallery owner Karan Vafadari and his wife, Afarin Neyssari; Robin Reza Shahini, an Iranian-American from California; and Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese national with U.S. permanent residency.
In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. President Trump’s administration had proposed creating a direct channel between Tehran and Washington for negotiating the fate of U.S. and Iranian citizens who are in prison in the two countries. According to the report, Tehran had not responded to the proposal.