Iran Asks For "Billions Of Dollars" In Ransom To Release Another Two US Hostages
One of the bigger foreign policy blunders that plagued the Obama administration over the summer was the WSJ report that the Obama administration agreed to pay a $1.7 billion ransom payment to secured the release of 4 hostages. When we commented on this development most recently, we said that such appeasement was likely to lead to even more hostage taking, and even more ransom demands by Iran.
Then, yesterday, we learned that an Iranian court has sentenced an Iranian-American businessman and his elderly father to 10 years in prison on charges of cooperating with the United States, Iranian media reported on Tuesday, the latest sign of an intensifying crackdown against Iranians with ties to the West. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in October 2015 detained Siamak Namazi, a businessman in his mid-40s with dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship, while he was visiting family in Tehran. The IRGC in February arrested his 80-year-old father, Baquer Namazi, a former Iranian provincial governor and former UNICEF official who also has dual citizenship.
Both men were sentenced to 10 years in prison for spying and cooperating with the U.S. government, said Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, according to the Fars news website, without specifying when exactly the sentences had been handed down.
Cited by Reuters, U.S. State Department's deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, said the father and son had been "unjustly detained" in Iran, and called for their immediate release. Well, according to a new press report in the local state-controlled press, Iran may just agree to release them, but it will cost the US "many billions of dollars."