US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on the Iran to release US Iranian dual national Emad Sharghi and stop its policy of holding people as political pawns.
In a tweet on Saturday, Blinken said, “For four years, the Shargi (Sharghi) family has waited anxiously for the Iranian government to release Emad”.
Calling on Iran to stop this “inhumane practice” and release Emad, he added that “Like too many other families, their loved one has been treated as a political pawn”.
Earlier in the day, Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley also called for his release, saying, “Shargi was arrested 4 years ago today. He was cleared of all charges, but then convicted in absentia, rearrested, and has now spent over 500 days in Evin Prison”.
“Emad, the Namazis, and Morad Tahbaz must all be allowed to come home now”, Malley added.
On Friday, Republican Senator Marco Rubio twitted for the release of Sharghi, noting that he remains unjustly detained in the notorious Evin Prison under false charges.
The 56-year-old businessman was arrested on December 6, 2020. According to reports, he has been sentenced to ten years in prison on charges of espionage and collecting military intelligence but had attempted to flee while on bail awaiting the result of an appeal.
Foreign governments and human rights organizations have accused Iran of detaining foreigners and dual nationals on trumped up charges to use them for getting concessions from Western countries.