Siamak Namazi (R) and his father Baqer before their 10-year sentences in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran in 2016


Oil executive Siamak Namazi has been returned to Evin Prison in Tehran after a temporary furlough which accompanied the October 1 release of his father Baquer.

Lawyer Jared Genser announced the return to Evin on Wednesday, one day before the 7th anniversary of the younger Namazi’s detention:

Yesterday [Tuesday], members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps informed Siamak…that his furlough would not be extended further, without providing any explanation. Late this morning, Siamak was taken back into custody by the IRGC and forced to return to Evin Prison.

Namazi’s brother Babak, said he had hoped his father’s departure “was the beginning of a new, less painful chapter in the struggle to make our family whole again”. But his brother’s return to Evin “has shattered that hope”.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the news was “a tremendous setback” amid speculation that US-Iran prisoner exchanges could follow Baquer Namazi’s release for medical treatment abroad.

ORIGINAL ENTRY, OCT 3: Iran has freed US-Iranian dual national Baquer Namazi, 85, after 6 1/2 years as a political prisoner.

Namazi, a former official of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, was released from medical abroad. His freedom has raised hopes that other dual nationals could follow.

Namazi’s son Siamak, a US-Iranian oil executive held since October 2015, was allowed out of Tehran’s Evin prison on a one-week, renewable furlough.

Baquer Namazi was seized when he went to Evin in March 2016 to enquire about his son’s status. Both men were subsequently given 10-year sentences.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, “The Secretary General is grateful that, following his appeals to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, our former colleague Baquer Namazi has been permitted to leave Iran for medical treatment abroad.”

In January 2016, as the nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, China, and Russia) was implements, four American citizens were released.

The current nuclear talks are stalled over Iran’s resistance to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iranian officials initially indicated that Baquer Namazi was free in return for Tehran’s access to some of the $7 billion in frozen assets in South Korea. However, the Biden Administration quickly rejected the claim.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman retreated on Monday:

Serious negotiations are underway. The Iranian Foreign Minister had a good meeting with Korean counterpart in New York on the sideline of UN General Assembly. There’s been good progress. We hope to see good things to happen. We’ll later give further information.

Iran continues to imprison other dual and foreign nationals. They include French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, held since 2018; US-Iranian businessmn Emad Shargi, seized in 2018; US-Canadian-Iranian environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, detained since January 2019; French tourist Benjamin Briere; and Swedish-Iranian medical researcher Ahmadreza Djalali, who has faced the death penalty.

Iranian security have detained Swedish and German nationals this year.

See also UPDATE: British Council’s Amiri Released But French-Iranian Academic Adelkhah Returned to Iran Prison