IAPAC Concerned Over Fate of Iranian Americans Held in Iran
Washington, DC - The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) today expressed concern over the fate of Iranian Americans currently being detained in Iran.
Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, was arrested in Tehran on May 8th after being barred from leaving Iran for the previous four months. Esfandiari was visiting her ailing 93 year old mother.
Parnaz Azima, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has had her passport confiscated by Iranian authorities. Like Esfandiari, Azima returned to Iran a few months ago to visit her ailing mother. She has reportedly been told that she may not be able to leave the country for up to three years.
A third Iranian American woman has also been reported to be detained. At the request of her family, the State Department has agreed not to identify her by name.
IAPAC is deeply concerned about the fate of these Iranian Americans. Like many other Americans, Iranian Americans often visit their country of origin. Thousands return to Iran every year to visit their loved ones. The arbitrary detention of Iranian Americans visiting Iran is a matter of grave concern to the Iranian American community.
IAPAC urges the U.S. State Department to continue working for the immediate repatriation of these Iranian Americans to the United States.