Families of Europeans imprisoned in Iran accuse governments of kowtowing to Tehran

Amid efforts to revive the tattered 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, relatives of Europeans held in Iran say their governments are kowtowing to Tehran.

In recent interviews, relatives of five dual nationals and one French citizen described the efforts of European governments to end their loved ones’ detention as ineffective. Most said they felt officials had been too soft on Iran and implored them to take more assertive action to secure their relatives’ release.

“I don’t know why they don’t want to call out Iran. I don’t know why their attitude towards Iran is one of appeasement rather than confrontation, because it hasn’t worked,” Sherry Izadi, the wife of Anoosheh Ashoori, a British Iranian prisoner, said recently by phone from London, referring to the British government.

“Why not call this hostage-taking?”

Izadi has not seen her husband, a retired engineer, for nearly four years after he was arrested while on a trip to Iran in August 2017.

A year and two months later, he was sentenced to 10 years in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison for “cooperating with a hostile state,” referring to Israel, and to 2 years for “obtaining illicit funds” to be served concurrently, Izadi said. She says he is an innocent father caught up in a geopolitical game.

Shahrokh Nazemi, head of the media office at Iran’s mission to the United Nations, said that Iran “categorically rejects” the “hostage” label and that a number of Iranian citizens are in jail in the U.S. and beyond who are “guilty of nothing.”

“The U.S. with its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign — which includes illegal sanctions and arbitrary arrests of Iranians — has sought to bring Iran to submission, and that is tantamount to hostage-taking,” he said in an email.

Read the complete article at: CBC News

Also Read: Franco-Iranian, German citizens arrested in Iran – Le Figaro

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