'He Will Never Be the Same': WaPo Reporter's Suit Against Iran
Jason Rezaian has filed complaint against Iran for trying to use him as pawn in nuke talks
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2016 2:17 PM CDT
In this Jan. 20, 2016, file photo, US journalist Jason Rezaian waves to the media in front of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, after being released from an Iran prison.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

(Newser) – Jason Rezaian has had time to decompress and re-acclimate to life in the US after being released from Iranian detention in January—and now he's ready to sue. The Washington Post journalist and his family filed a complaint Monday in DC's US District Court against the Iranian government, claiming his captors wanted to use him as a negotiating pawn to "extort" the US in its dealings with Iran over its nuclear program, the Post reports. "For nearly eighteen months, Iran held and terrorized Jason for the purpose of gaining negotiating leverage and ultimately exchanging him with the United States for something of value to Iran," the suit reads.

And in his suit, Rezaian says he was indeed told by Iranian officials of this "value" he held in case a prisoner swap was broached. The suit, filed on behalf of the reporter, his brother, and his mother, is looking to get around a Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act mandate that US citizens can't sue foreign states in domestic courts; his complaint is calling into play a "terrorism exception" clause that makes an exception for hostage-taking, terrorist acts, and torture (of which Rezaian claims all three) that takes place at the hands of countries deemed a state sponsor of terrorism by the US State Department. "For 544 days, Jason suffered such physical mistreatment and severe psychological abuse … that he will never be the same," the suit notes. "He will require specialized medical and other treatment for the rest of his life."
 

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