Iran Taunts US With Video Of American Hostage, Sentences Him To 10 Years

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Iran released a new video Monday taunting the U.S. after the nuclear deal and featuring detained U.S. citizen Siamak Namazi.

The video features a dramatic film score, footage of U.S. sailors on their knees when detained in January, Namazi’s U.S. passport, and footage of him in detention. Experts suggest Namazi’s October 2015 arrest came amid a concerted effort by Iranian opponents of the nuclear deal to arrest dual nationals or individuals with Western ties.

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Iranian state mediaannounced Tuesday that Namazi and his father are each being sentenced to 10 years in Iranian prison. The Namazi family reportedly served under the Shah of Iran before 1979, and have played a key role in bridging ties between the U.S. and Iran. Iran is also reportedly holding Robin Shahini, an Iranian-American detained for criticizing Iran on social media.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution in July calling for the immediate release of Namazi and his father. The resolution “urges the president, the allies of the United States, and the United Nations to raise the cases of Siamak and Baquer Namazi with officials of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran at every opportunity.”

Namazi was not included in a controversial Iranian-hostage release with the U.S. in January 2016. President Barack Obama hailed “strong American diplomacy” for the release of the hostages, along with contacts forged between the U.S. and Iran in the nuclear deal. The Wall Street Journal later revealed the U.S. transferred 400 million dollars in cash to Iran the same day as the release, prompting accusations of a ransom.

“The timing of this, despite administration protests to the contrary, suggests that this was a ransom payment,” Jonathan Schanzer, an expert on terrorism finance and the vice president of research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “And even if this was not what the administration intended, it certainly looks that way to the Iranians.”

The U.S. later admitted it used the 400 million dollar payment to Iran as “leverage.”

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