Iran Arrests 80-Year-Old Dad of American Captive

Baquer Namazi arrested Monday in Tehran, wife says
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2016 9:38 AM CST
Iran Arrests 80-Year-Old Dad of American Captive
This undated photo shows Baquer and Siamak Namazi.   (Facebook)

The last confirmed American prisoner held in Iran now has company in the form of his own dad. US-Iranian national Baquer Namazi, 80, was arrested in Tehran on Monday, his wife writes on Facebook, per CNN. He's the father of businessman Siamak Namazi, who was detained in October but left out of a recent prisoner swap. "Now both my innocent son Siamak and my Baquer are in prison for no reason," says Effie Namazi. "This is a nightmare I can't describe." Iran hasn't confirmed Baquer's arrest publicly, though Effie says he was sent to Evin Prison "as far as I have been told by those who took him." Siamak is also being held there. Effie says she wasn't able to find out more and a lawyer "couldn't get any information or get to see him."

Effie adds that Baquer—a former Iranian provincial governor and UNICEF official, per Reuters—suffers from heart conditions and other ailments and needs medicine. "I am extremely concerned and worried sick for Baquer's health." A family friend tells CBS News that Baquer is "not at all political," and suggests Iranian authorities "want Siamak to make concessions that he wasn't willing to make." Asked about Baquer's arrest at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, John Kerry said, "I am very familiar with this and I am engaged on it specifically, but I am not permitted due to privacy reasons to go into details here," per the New York Times. US intelligence chief James Clapper has suggested Iran is holding Americans "as bargaining chips for US concessions." (More Iran stories.)

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