DUBAI, Oct 12 (Reuters) – The lawyer for an Iranian American jailed in Iran for security offences urged Tehran to allow him to leave jail temporarily if his elderly father undergoes surgery in the country, a news website reported on Tuesday.
Baquer Namazi, 84, was convicted of “collaboration with a hostile government” in 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Iranian authorities released him on medical grounds in 2018 and closed his case last year, commuting his sentence to time served.
His son, Siamak Namazi, 49, remains in prison in Iran after being convicted of the same offence. The U.S. government has described the charges against both as baseless.
“Siamak Namazi has served six years of his 10-year prison term without a single day of furlough … From a human and emotional point of view, in these difficult conditions (he) wants to be with his elderly father, who has no other children in Iran,” attorney Hojjat Kermani told the Emtedad website.
U.S.-based lawyers for urged Tehran last week to let him leave the country for medical care, saying he needed immediate surgery for an arterial blockage.
Kermani urged Iranian authorities to allow Baquer Namazi to leave Iran for medical treatment or at least temporarily release his son if he is to undergo surgery in Iran. This was required by “the law and the principles of Islamic and humanitarian compassion”, Kermani told Emtedad.
Iranian Americans, whose U.S. citizenship is not recognised by Tehran, are often pawns in relations between the two nations, now at odds over whether to revive a fraying 2015 pact under which Iran limited its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.
(Dubai newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie)