An 85-year-old Iranian-American who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2016 arrived and was reunited with his family in Abu Dhabi, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday. 

Baquer Namazi, a former United Nations official and U.S. citizen, was wrongfully detained and held by the Iranian regime under accusations of “collaboration with a hostile government” after he went to Iran to try to secure the release of his son, Siamak Namazi, 51, who has been wrongfully detained in Iran for seven years. He was given a 10-year sentence, according to Reuters. He was released on medical grounds in 2018 and his case was closed in 2020, but he was not allowed to leave Iran.  

Namazi, first flew to Muscat, Oman, before flying to the United Arab Emirates where he will receive urgently needed medical treatment. 

“Baquer has asked that we convey his deepest thanks to all of those who worked tirelessly to secure his release. I add my own gratitude for all of the friends and partners who helped bring about his freedom,” Blinken said in a statement. “In particular, we thank the Sultanate of Oman, which worked with Iranian authorities to arrange for his flight out of the country, and the United Arab Emirates, which is generously hosting him and his family during his medical treatment.” 

Bliken added that he looks forward to Baquer’s full recovery and to welcome him back home to the U.S. He said America will remain committed to securing the freedom of all remaining wrongfully detained U.S. citizens in Iran and around the world. Iranian-Americans still detained in Iran besides Namazi’s son include environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, 67, and Emad Shargi, 58. 


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