Oct 5, 2022 - World

U.S. citizen leaves Iran after being detained for more than 6 years

Baquer Namazi

Baquer Namazi speaks to the press upon his arrival to the Omani capital Muscat on Oct. 5. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

U.S. citizen Baquer Namazi, 85, left Iran on Wednesday after spending more than six years in detention.

Why it matters: The State Department maintains that both Namazi and his son, Siamak, were unjustly detained in Iran.

  • Siamak Namazi, a businessman, was detained in Iran in 2015 and his father Baquer — a former UNICEF official — was detained in early 2016 after traveling to try and see his son and appeal for his release.
  • Both men were charged with espionage by the Iranian authorities.

The big picture: Attorney Jared Genser confirmed in a tweet Wednesday morning that Namazi's plane had safely landed in Muscat, Oman.

  • From there, Namazi will travel to Abu Dhabi for urgent medical treatment," Genser tweeted.
  • Namazi will undergo surgery to clear an arterial blockage that puts him at risk of stroke, CNN reported.
  • State Department spokesperson Ned Price announced over the weekend that Iran had lifted the travel ban on Namazi and granted a humanitarian furlough to his son, enabling him to be with his father before he left the country.

What they're saying: “It is impossible to articulate and describe sufficiently how I am feeling. I am just so grateful that after so long, I will shortly be able to embrace my father again,” Babak Namazi, Baquer Namazi’s son and Siamak's brother, said in a statement, NBC News reported.

  • “My brother Siamak as well as Americans Emad Sharghi and Morad Tahbaz remain detained in Iran and our nightmare will not be over until our entire family and the other Americans are reunited with their families," he added.
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