Jailed Iranian American starts hunger strike, appeals to Biden

An Iranian American imprisoned in Iran has started a seven-day hunger strike and appealed to United States President Joe Biden to bring him home. Siamak Namazi made

the plea on Monday in a letter to Biden on the seventh anniversary of the release of five US citizens in a prisoner exchange with Iran, choreographed to coincide with the

implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Namazi was arrested in October 2015 on charges of trying to overthrow the state, accusations Namazi denies. His father

Baquer, who travelled to Iran in 2016 out of concern for his detained son, had also been arrested on espionage-related charges and released two years later but banned from

travelling. He was finally allowed to leave Iran in October for medical treatment. Namazi said in his letter he would be on a hunger strike for seven days, asking Biden to

spend one minute a day for the next week thinking about the suffering of US citizens detained in Iran. They include environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, 67, who also has British

nationality, and businessman Emad Shargi, 58. “When the Obama Administration unconscionably left me in peril and freed the other American citizens Iran held hostage on

January 16, 2016, the US Government promised my family to have me safely home within weeks,” Namazi said in the open letter released by his lawyer, Jared Genser. “Yet seven

years and two presidents later, I remain caged in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.” “My captors enjoy taunting me about that fact by saying things like: ‘How can your

beloved America be so heartless? Not one but two US presidents freed others but left you behind!'” Namazi said.