Obama Calls on Iran to Release Imprisoned WaPo Correspondent
Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian was detained by Iranian officials last July, and charged with unknown crimes four months ago. On Friday President Barack Obama addressed his captivity, along with several other Americans being held in Iran, in a statement on the Persian New Year:
“At this time of renewal, compassion, and understanding, I reiterate my commitment to bringing our citizens home and call on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian,” Obama said.
Rezaian was arrested along with three others, including his wife, the journalist Yeganeh Salehi, who was released shortly thereafter. Rezaian, who holds dual American-Iranian, went without an attorney for four months, and will stand trial before the Revolutionary Court over still-unknown charges; Iran maintains he is being tried for crimes committed as an Iranian citizen.
Secretary of State John Kerry has previously called for Rezaian’s release, complicated by the fact that the two countries are in a pas de deux over Iran’s nuclear program.
“We will have to wait for the judiciary to move forward, but we will try to provide all the humanitarian assistance that we could,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif replied at the time. He added that “unfortunately there are judicial issues involved which the judiciary has to deal with.”
[h/t Jason Ukman]
[Image via Jason Rezaian/Twitter]
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