Iranian-American Baquer Namazi arrives in UAE for treatment after six years in detention in Iran


Baquer Namazi, the Iranian-American citizen released from captivity in Tehran on Wednesday after more than six years, has arrived for urgent medical treatment in the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Namazi’s lawyer, Jared Genser, confirmed his arrival and said he had been registered at the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi. He is expected to undergo a carotid endarterectomy to “remove a severe blockage in his left internal carotid artery which puts him at very high risk of stroke”, his family previously said.

“It is impossible to overstate the extraordinary support provided by the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and the generosity of the UAE government in welcoming the Namazis. They feel blessed and deeply grateful,” Mr. Genser tweeted alongside a photo of Mr. Namazi, 85, greeted by his son Babak upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi.

Mr Namazi, a former UN official, was convicted in Iran of “collaborating 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 in 2020, commuting his sentence to time served but effectively banning him from leaving the country.

He was eventually cleared to depart on a Royal Air Force flight from Oman on Wednesday to Muscat and then to Abu Dhabi for treatment.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also welcomed Namazi’s release, saying: “Baquer has asked us to convey his deepest thanks to all who worked so tirelessly to secure his release. I add my own gratitude to all the friends and partners who contributed to his release.

He particularly thanked the United Arab Emirates and Oman for their help in treating Mr Namazi and transferring him out of Iran.

“We look forward to his full recovery and to welcoming him to the United States,” Mr. Blinken said.

Mr Namazi was arrested after being lured to Iran with the promise he could see his son, Siamak Namazi, who was arrested by authorities for collaborating with the United States in 2016.

Siamak Namazi is now the longest serving Iranian-American prisoner held by Iran.

Mr. Blinken said Mr. Namazi’s detention was a mistake.

“He was cruelly detained while working to secure the release of his son Siamak Namazi, who was also unjustly detained in Iran for seven years,” he said.

“However, our work is far from over. We remain committed to securing the freedom of all American citizens wrongfully detained in Iran and around the world. »

Siamak Namazi is one of four Iranian-Americans detained by Tehran. He was released from prison on furlough this week, but is still banned from travel and may be returned to police custody at any time.

Neda Sharghi, the sister of Emad Shargi who is being held for espionage in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison, welcomed the news of Mr Namazi’s release.

“We are thrilled to learn of the freedom of Baquer Namazi and the discharge of his son Siamak. We continue to keep them in our prayers that their family can finally be reunited,” she tweeted.

“We wish the United States could have secured Emad’s freedom as well; instead, he remains an innocent American wrongfully imprisoned in Iran. We urge the US government to do everything in their power to bring him home.

Updated: October 06, 2022, 07:38


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