Iran has sentenced two Iranian-Americans to 10 years in prison – an apparent outgrowth of the recent payment by the U.S. to Iran of $1.7 billion on the day Iran released several American hostages.
The two imprisoned Americans are Baquer Namazi, aged 80, and his son Siamak. The Clarion Project reports that the two were imprisoned on "spurious" charges of espionage; the Wall Street Journal(WSJ) called them "trumped-up."
Siamak was arrested last September, shortly after the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was accepted. The elder Namazi, a retired official with the United Nations, was arrested in February while visiting his son in jail.
Ironically, Siamak was connected to the National Iranian American Council, a pro-Iranian regime lobby group in Washington, D.C. A businessman, he spoke out against U.S. sanctions on Iran and advocated for closer business ties between the countries.
As WSJ noted, however, the recent payment by the U.S. to Iran – some call it a ransom – “has created an incentive for them to imprison more Americans to trade for some future concession.”
Even considering Siamak was promoting the Iranian regime, the paper writes, “the mullahs put their need for U.S. hostages above gratitude for such political assistance. Revolutions tend to devour their foreign sympathizers.”