The PJ Tatler

Obama Lets American Journo Rot in Iranian Jail While Negotiating with Islamic Republic

 

The Jerusalem Post reports:

A verdict has been reached in the trial of American journalist Jason Rezaian, the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network reported on Sunday.

“The verdict on Jason Rezaian has been issued, but has not reached the stage of announcement yet,” Rezaian’s lawyer, Leyla Ahsan, said in an interview with Iranian media.

Rezaian, Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post, was detained on July 22, 2014 and imprisoned for nine months without charges. An indictment was ultimately revealed in April detailing charges of espionage and propaganda against the establishment.

The United States has called on Tehran to release Rezaian, an American citizen, whose trial took place behind closed doors. The Obama administration considers Rezaian a political prisoner unjustly held by the Islamic Republic. But his fate was not a condition of the nuclear talks that ended on July 14 with a comprehensive agreement…

Iran did announce this Sunday that two foreigners had been convicted of spying for the U.S. and Israel. However, it is unclear whether one of those convicted was Rezaian. His fate is supposedly going to be publicized before Congress votes on the Iran deal in mid-September.

Haven’t heard of Rezaian? Don’t be surprised. A Google News search of his name brings up stories via the Jerusalem Post, the UK Guardian, and Yahoo News. As for the major news outlets, Rezaian and other American detainees are back-page business at best. The dual Iranian-American citizen is 39 years old and was arrested for espionage along with other crimes against the state. His wife, also a journalist, was arrested for similar crimes but released on bond until her trial date. She is not permitted to leave the country. The Rezaians’ congressional representative, California Democrat Jared Huffman, stated:

“Jason Rezaian is innocent, and should be released because he’s innocent,” Huffman said. “We, I think would be pushing for that in the absence of this deal. We’ll be pushing it after this deal, if the deal is approved. To try to conflate it, I think, is not a fair way to approach the nuclear deal, and it’s not a fair way to approach someone who’s innocent, and should just be released for that reason.”

In other words, kid, because we have a deal on the table, you’re screwed. Now, get out of the way so we can attend to business.