After Jailing Iranian-American Consultant, Iran Arrests Father

  • Wife says jailed 80-year-old has serious heart problems
  • Charges haven't been announced against son arrested last year

Iranian authorities have imprisoned the 80-year-old father of Iranian-American business consultant Siamak Namazi, who’s been detained since October, his family said.

Baquer Namazi was arrested in Tehran late Monday and is believed to have been taken to the capital’s Evin prison, his wife, Effie Namazi, wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“Now both my innocent son Siamak and my Baquer are in prison for no reason. This is a nightmare I can’t describe,” she wrote. “I am extremely concerned and worried sick for Baquer’s health” as he “has a serious heart and other conditions,” she said.

Iranian authorities haven’t announced charges against Siamak Namazi and his case wasn’t part of a prisoner exchange between Iran and the U.S. last month that led to the release of an American and four dual Iranian-American citizens by Iran and seven Iranians by the U.S. The swap, negotiated secretly over months, was made public on the day a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was formally adopted, lifting years-long economic sanctions against Iran.

Seeking Investment

The elder Namazi was arrested just days ahead of elections on Friday for parliament and the country’s top religious body. In the legislative vote, President Hassan Rouhani hopes to win added support for his efforts to open Iran to the outside world and attract investment to spur an economy hurt by years of crippling international sanctions.

Siamak Namazi was arrested following a trip to Iran last year, according to his friends. His father was arrested at the airport this week, the Wall Street Journal said, citing friends and family. He had been promised a visit to his son, it said.

The younger Namazi headed a consulting firm in Tehran in the early 2000s. He most recently was based in Dubai, where he worked as head of strategic planning at Sharjah-based Crescent Petroleum. Born in Iran and educated in the U.S., he was named a Young Global Leader by The World Economic Forum in 2007.

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