Published On: Wed, Feb 10th, 2016

Iranian-American businessman jailed in Iran sends chilling message to investors

Dubai-based Siamak Namazi jailed by Revolutionary Guard while visiting family in Iran; Another Iranian-British businessman, Kamal Foroughi, remains in detention after being arrested while working in Tehran as a business consultant.

John Kerry


An Iranian-American businessman was arrested by Iranian security forces in July 2015 while he was visiting relatives in Tehran from his home base in Dubai.

Wall Street Journal, citing people briefed on the situation, said that Siamak Namazi, head of strategic planning at Crescent Petroleum Co, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard’s intelligence arm, which reports to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Washington Post reported the same information.

Friends of Namazi told the newspaper that his family home was ransacked by Iranian intelligence agents, who confiscated his computer and had since conducted cyber attacks on some of his email contacts.

When Iran and the United States sealed the nuclear program with a prisoner exchange, Siamak Namazi was among the detainees some expected to be freed by the Iranian authorities.

The businessman with dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship was on a list of four prisoners to be released published by the official Islamic Republic News Agency and the Tabnak website on the day of the swap, Jan. 16. His name was withdrawn with an apology but no explanation, Reuters reports.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters the following day he had commitments from Iran that Namazi’s case would be resolved.

But the 44-year-old executive, distinguished by the World Economic Forum as a “Young Global Leader”, is still in Tehran’s Evin prison, where former political inmates say torture is frequent during interrogations. Close friends say his conditions have deteriorated.

While Iran announces multi-billion-euro deals with European multinationals, Namazi’s case sends a chilling message to expatriates who hope to participate in the economic opening following the lifting of sanctions…

Read the full story at Reuters, by Paul Taylor

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