Revealed in Hillary Emails: 2009 Iran Hostage Case Got Special Attention After Push from Clinton Confidante
As the families of U.S. hostages currently held in Iran have struggled for years to rally the determination to bring their loved ones home, newly released emails from the former secretary of State reveal the infuriating truth that those with connections get their case raised to the top.
In 2009, Iason Athanasiadis was covering the protests of the disputed election win of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over Mir-Hossein Mousavi for the Washington Times. The Greek citizen was detained by Iranian authorities on June 17, 2009, as he tried to fly out of the country.
Athanasiadis was thrown in Evin prison and released after three weeks of interrogation, his captors explaining they had “unprecedentedly full jails” from the Green Revolution.
On June 23, six days after the reporter was taken into custody, Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Clinton, fired off an email to Hillary Clinton, according to a new batch of correspondence released by the State Department last night.
“Dear Hillary, John Solomon, Exec Editor of Washington Times and a close personal friend (and always fair to us as AP reporter and later Wash Post reporter), has called about a Wash Times reporter who is being held by Iranians. He says Greeks have good relations and he believes they are trying to help. He believes you are meeting with Greek Foreign Minister tomorrow and hopes you can raise the issue with him – he may already know something about it. Any information he knows would help family. Hope you can do this – And hope your elbow is better – Best wishes, Lanny.”
Clinton forwarded the email to Jake Sullivan, a deputy policy director on Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign who went on to serve as her deputy chief of staff at the State Department and then director of policy planning. Sullivan, now a visiting lecturer at Yale, also was a national security adviser to Vice President Biden until last year.
Sullivan “spent months secretly laying the groundwork” for the current Iran nuclear negotiations and is believed to be Clinton’s pick for national security advisor.
“Do you know anything about this?” Clinton asked Sullivan two days after Davis’ email.
“Yes. We had Jim raise this with the Greek ambassador yesterday, who told him that they were aware of the situation and would come back with a report when Jim got to Corfu,” Sullivan responded.
“Would you pis give Lanny a report and do you know who is keeping Solomon informed?” Clinton asked, referencing the Washington Times editor.
“I will. Philippe is keeping Solomon informed — he passed along a readout of Jim’s conversation yesterday,” Sullivan said.