NEW YORK — One of five US citizens flown out of Iran on Monday hailed US President Joe Biden for ignoring the political backlash and carrying out a swap that freed him.
“My heartfelt gratitude goes to President Biden and his administration, which had to make some incredibly difficult decisions,” Siamak Namazi said in a statement.
“Thank you, President Biden, for ultimately putting the lives of American citizens above politics.”
But Namazi, who had been detained for eight years, acknowledged that there were “no good options” in dealing with the clerical state.
Addressing Biden as he prepared to meet world leaders at the United Nations, Namazi said: “I urge you to initiate a game-changing global endeavor aimed at preventing hostage-taking in the first place.”
“It is only if the free world finally agrees to collectively impose draconian consequences on those who use human lives as mere bargaining chips, that the Iranian regime and its ilk will be compelled to make different choices.
“Sadly, until then, we can anticipate more Americans and others falling victim to state hostage-taking — a horror that, thanks to you, my family and I will strive to put behind us, starting today.”