US hostages in Iran join forces to call on Biden for help

Three Americans have been held for a combined 18 years in Iranian prison

Siamak Namazi (jailed in Iran) and father Baquer. courtesy: Paul Peachey
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Three Americans imprisoned in Iran on espionage charges are calling on US President Joe Biden to bring them home.

For the first time in their years-long ordeal, Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz and Siamak Namazi have joined forces in an effort to amplify their voices, hoping to reach Mr Biden.

“The three of us have now been held hostage in Iran for a combined 18 years solely because we are citizens of the United States,” they wrote in a letter to the President.

“Yet, even in our darkest hours, we have retained the sacred belief that America never leaves behind one of its own.”

The three ended by pleading with Mr Biden to uphold their “faith” in America and to “bring us home”.

Mr Namazi has been jailed since October 2015 on charges of working with a foreign government. The Iranian-American's father, Baquer Namazi, was also held by Iran until he was given a medical release in October 2022.

The elder Mr Namazi, 87, travelled to Abu Dhabi, where he was treated for heart issues and other ailments.

Mr Tahbaz, who holds US, UK and Iranian citizenship, has been held in Iran since January 2018. The conservationist founded the Persian Wildlife Heritage foundation, which seeks to protect the endangered Asiatic Cheetah, and was arrested along with several colleagues.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for working with the US government.

Mr Shargi, a businessman from Washington, was arrested in January 2018. He, too, is serving a 10-year sentence for espionage.

The families of the detained Americans have been lobbying the US government to take action for multiple years.

Updated: March 03, 2023, 6:03 PM