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Family Urges Trump To Work For Release Of Jailed Americans In Iran

A relative of two Iranian-Americans imprisoned in Iran has said their health is deteriorating in Tehran's Evin prison and urged U.S. President Donald Trump to take "personal responsibility" for freeing them.

Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi, were sentenced to 10-year prison terms last year for "collusion with an enemy state" -- the United States. Babak Namazi has been seeking the release of his father and brother since then.

Babak Namazi says the charges are bogus and the two are being held as leverage on the United States.

He said on April 25 he was "counting on the president to take personal responsibility" for their lives, noting that Trump campaigned on a pledge to never allow Iran to take Americans prisoner.

The Namazi family fled Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but kept business ties there. Siamak Namazi's arrest in late 2015 followed criticism by hard-liners over his advocacy for improved Iran-U.S. ties.

His 80-year-old father is a former UNICEF representative who served as governor of Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan Province under the U.S.-backed shah of Iran. He was arrested after traveling to Iran seeking his son's release.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.


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