Critics are livid as US President Joe Biden prepares to pay the Iranian regime a hefty $16 billion for five hostages held by Tehran. Not only does the huge ransom provide a lifeline for its sanction-stricken economy and help continue exporting terror across the world, the deal leaves out three American nationals held as bargaining chips by the Islamic Republic.
The son of one of the hostages, Shahab Dalili, told Fox News that the Biden administration has abandoned his father. "They have included two unnamed prisoners in this deal with Iran who have been there for only a matter of months and have excluded him who's been there for seven years and keep saying that they haven't reached a decision on the unlawful designation matter. How could that take seven years? They have never provided us with an answer on why it is taking so long. We have asked repeatedly," he told the network.
Shahab was detained by Iranian authorities when he visited the country for his father’s funeral in 2016. He was charged with “communications with a hostile country” and underwent what critics call a “sham trial.” Counterterrorism experts say Iran uses hostages to get monetary and political concessions from the West. Shahab’s son maintains that his father was detained with the intention to pressure the US, telling the New York Sun that Shahab was never involved in any kind of activity against Iran. "My father has never been a political figure. He has never done anything political,” he was quoted as saying.
The daughter of another hostage who has been sentenced to death by the Iranian regime blames the US and Germany of “betraying” her father. Responding to State Department spokesman Vedant Patel who pointed out that Sharmahd is a “German citizen and “I will leave it to our partners in Germany to speak to his situation,” Gazelle called Patel’s comments, “disgusting, inhumane and illegal.” “The State Department does not only have a moral but also a legal duty to save my dad, especially in a situation where he could face imminent execution if he is left behind,” she told Fox News Digital.
Gazelle’s father, an anti-regime activist, had survived an assassination attempt in California, only to be kidnapped by Iranian agents while visiting Dubai. The State Department did point out that, “Sharmahd’s treatment has been reprehensible (and) he has been sentenced to death after a legal proceeding that has been widely criticized as a sham trial,” but stopped short of promising any decisive action on his behalf.
Jamshid Sharmahd does possess German citizenship but Germany has also turned a blind eye to his plight. When asked if the German government would take concrete steps towards retrieving the kidnapped journalist, a spokesman failed to say whether his government was willing to recall its ambassador, evict Iran’s ambassador from Berlin, and put a stop to more than $1 billion in trade with the Islamic Republic.
In a letter to the White House, 26 Republican lawmakers also slammed the deal, pointing out that it, "provid(es) a ransom payment to the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, in yet another violation of the United States’ long-standing ‘no concessions." "The Biden administration’s policy on Iran is a strategic and moral travesty. Biden is giving the regime in Iran nearly $16 billion as ransom for five hostages. The regime will now get a big financial boost as it faces a popular revolt and possible collapse,” Alireza Nader, a Washington-based Iran scholar, told Fox News.
"Adding insult to injury, Biden is appeasing the regime near the one-year anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s murder. But that’s not all. Biden isn’t even trying to bring back all of the Iranian-American hostages, including Jamshid Sharmahd and Shahab Dalili, both of whom are covered by the Levinson Act and must be part of the negotiations,” he added.