Iran: US journalist pays the price for nuclear deal
After Washington decide not to make the release of three Americans detained in Iran a condition for the July 14th nuclear pact with Tehran, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian is now abandoned under “cruel and inhumane” treatment the ayatollahs’ notorious Evin Prison, according to his brother. Ali Rezaian is now pleading with the U.S. government to take any actions necessary to gain his freedom.
Tehran has forged ridiculous allegations against Rezaian and there is no evidence he actually attempted to access any security information inside Iran. These are old tactics resorted by the ayatollahs in abducting foreign citizens and holding them as bargaining chips.
Iran’s so-called judiciary confirmed Rezaian’s verdict last Sunday yet gave no indication what actual punishment the 39-year-old Iranian-American journalist will actually face. The Post journalist has been behind bars for the past 14 months under charges including espionage and is reportedly facing up to 20 years in prison.
While there is no reason for Rezaian to be kept behind bars the Obama administration has actually gone the limits to completely forget the issue all whatsoever, leaving the Rezaian family cruelly without any information about the actual verdict.
Rezaian was coincidentally, yet conveniently, incarcerated and taken to court during the talks between the P5+1 and Iran over an accord aimed at curbing the ayatollahs nuclear program. The stage was perfectly set for the American team to condition any further step in the talks on Tehran releasing Rezaian and three other Americans held in Iran. However, what the Obama administration simply didn’t want to understand then, and has a hard to time to bear now, is the extremely weak and fragile state Iran is under. If the American team had truly shown a serious will and threatened to walk out of the talks if Iran didn’t release the four American hostages (yes, they are hostages), rest assured that the ayatollahs would come crawling back begging and giving in to even more conditions just to have the talks continue.
If Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei hadn’t decided to sign the nuclear deal, he wouldn’t have entered the Vienna talks in the first place, and even before that, wouldn’t have selected Hassan Rouhani as president. (I say selected because there is no such thing as free elections in Iran, and this itself is another long story).
Instead of taking care of this matter during the July talks when Iran would have most definitely agreed, now the Obama administration is facing a proposal from Iranian officials that Rezaian can be swapped for Iranian prisoners held by the U.S. This means Obama’s weak posture provided those sitting on the throne in Tehran left with this option to abduct an American citizen once in a while, use them as bargaining chips, and then gain even more concessions from Washington.
When is Obama and his senior officials finally going to wake up and smell the coffee?
Ramin Jalali tweets at @raminjalali25