American imprisoned in Iran launches hunger strike, says he was 'left behind' in 2016 U.S-Iran prisoner swap

An American imprisoned in Iran for seven years launched a hunger strike Monday to protest his “soul crushing” plight and that of other Americans held in Iran, appealing to

President Joe Biden to take action to secure their release. In a letter to Biden from his cell in Evin prison in Tehran, Siamak Namazi said he is starting a seven-day hunger

strike to mark seven years since he was left out of a January 2016 prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran. “When the Obama administration unconscionably left me in peril

and freed the other American citizens Iran held hostage on January 16, 2016, the U.S. government promised my family to have me safely home within weeks,” Namazi wrote. “Yet seven

years and two presidents later, I remain caged in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.” Namazi accused former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump of having failed him and

criticized Biden for not meeting face-to-face with the families of Americans imprisoned in Iran. “In the past I implored you to reach for your moral compass and find the

resolve to bring the U.S. hostages in Iran home. To no avail,” Namazi wrote. “Not only do we remain Iran’s prisoners, but you have not so much as granted our families a

meeting.” Namazi said he was asking Biden to spend one a minute a day for the next week contemplating the fate of Americans detained in Iran, while in return he would refuse

to eat. “All I want sir, is one minute of your days’ time for the next seven days devoted to thinking about the tribulations of the U.S. hostages in Iran. Just a single

minute of your time for each year of my life that I lost in Evin prison after the U.S. government could have saved me but didn’t. That is all,” he wrote.