Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Check Online To See If You Are Wanted, Iran Warns Expatriates

Thursday, 05/02/2024

Amid fears of more hostage-taking by the Iranian government, Tehran said expatriates can access an online service to check their “security” status.

According to Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iranian expatriates can check online to see whether they will be arrested by the regime’s security forces in case they travel to their homeland as many have before them, such as high profile cases including British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, arrested on a visit home to her family in 2016 as part of a long-running debt Iran claimed the UK owed.

Though the online system has been in place for two years, the latest update comes amid growing concerns of Iranians abroad, many of whom have been subject to intimidation and threats to their lives from state security forces for supporting the 2022 uprising.

“The few Iranians who are at times worried about coming to Iran under the influence of certain hostile media outlets, can be assured of having trouble-free travel to the country by consulting the ‘Porseman-e Taradod’ system,” Amir-Abdollahian claimed.

Back in January, Alireza Bigdeli, Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs, vowed that the online system will provide “honest” answers to Iranian expatriates before their travel to the country.

Multiple cases of dual-nationals in Iranian prisons are ongoing such as Swedish-Iranian Ahmadreza Djalali, German-Iranians Nahid Taghavi and Jamshid Sharmahd and French-Iranian Fariba Adelkhah. In March, Iran demanded $2.5 billion for the release of US-Iranian Jamshid Sharmahd, who is on death row.

Iran has long used a policy of hostage taking to leverage power over Western governments. Last year, the United States allowed the release of $6 billion of Iran's blocked funds in South Korea in exchange for the release of five US-Iranian hostages.

As Iran becomes even more emboldened, it has expanded its hostage taking to public figures, including the arrest and imprisonment of an EU representative, Johan Floderus, amidst an ongoing dispute with Sweden which has sentenced a regime insider to life in prison on terror charges.

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