An elderly American unjustly held in Iran for more than six years has been allowed to leave the country “to seek medical treatment abroad,” according to a statement from UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.
Baquer Namazi, 85, was released along with his son Siamak Namazi, Dujarric said.
The terms of what appears to be a temporary release for father and son are unclear at this time.
Baquer Namazi was facing health problems and developed further medical problems over the course of his six-year detention, the Perseus Strategies law firm, which represents the family, said in a statement last month.
Jared Genser, the Namazis’ attorney, said in a statement on Saturday that “Baquer Namazi’s travel ban has been lifted and for the first time in seven years, Siamak Namazi is at home with his parents in Tehran. While these are critical first steps, we will not rest until all of the Namazi are able to return to the United States and their long nightmare has finally come to an end.”
Siamak Namazi was prevented from leaving Iran after a visit in July 2015 and underwent months of interrogation before being arrested in October 2015. His father was lured to Iran under the false pretense that he might see his son. . Instead, he was immediately arrested at that time, in February 2016.
US efforts to free the Namazis, as well as two other wrongfully detained Americans, Emad Sharghi and Morad Tahbaz, have yielded no results. The State Department has said that these talks are being held separately from negotiations on the nuclear deal with Iran, which have not yet made a breakthrough.