Iran commutes sentence of Iranian-American, 84, but bans him from leaving

Iran has commuted the sentence of an ailing 84-year-old Iranian-American but barred him from leaving, his son says, urging US President Joe Biden to prioritize the case.

Baquer Namazi, a former UNICEF official, was detained in February 2016 when he traveled back to Iran after the arrest in Tehran of his son Siamak Namazi, a businessman.

Siamak’s brother, Babak, revealed that the Iranian judiciary commuted the sentence to time served a year ago based on his serious medical problems.

“As you can imagine, we were overjoyed that finally the nightmare may be over for my father and he can leave Iran to get the much-needed medical attention and procedures and to spend what little time he has left with his grandchildren,” Babak Namazi tells an online news conference.

Babak says his father went on a “wild goose chase” despite ill health to obtain a new passport to leave Iran but that it turned out the Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards had placed a travel ban on him.

“It is beyond outrageous that Iran continues to play with my father’s life,” he says.

“My family expects that President Biden and his administration will not make concessions or deals with Iran that do not include — and, indeed, requires a precondition — the release of my father and Siamak,” he says.

Baquer Namazi requires a stent for the main artery to his brain, which is 80 percent blocked and puts him at grave risk of a stroke, says the family’s lawyer, Jared Genser.

The Biden administration last week offered to meet with Iran under the aegis of the European Union to jumpstart diplomacy to revive a denuclearization agreement.

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