Spokeswoman: No US Citizen in Iranian Jails
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham on Sunday categorically denied claims about American nationals being under arrest or imprisoned in Iran.
“According to the available information, no US citizen is under arrest or in jails in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Afkham underlined.
She said the individuals referred to by American officials and media (as being US nationals) are two Iranian citizens “who, like any other citizen, will be held accountable before the law while fully enjoying their legal rights.”
Earlier this month, a senior American official was quoted as saying that during their meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, US Secretary of State John Kerry had urged Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to "work cooperatively with us" to help detained "US citizens … Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini return home."
Iran’s foreign ministry denied that the issue was raised in the meeting, saying that Zarif and Kerry only discussed the nuclear issue and the next round of talks between Iran and the sextet of world powers known as G 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).
Afkham further regretted that the US government has arrested more than 20 Iranian nationals on unfounded charges of violating the "unilateral and illegitimate American sanctions against the Iranian nation."
She lamented that Washington has refused to take any measures to release these innocent individuals despite efforts made by Iran through diplomatic and legal channels.
Afkham stressed that the foreign ministry will continue efforts to pursue the case of these innocent Iranian citizens in a bid to uphold their rights and secure their release.
Iranian citizen Mozaffar Khazaei was the latest victim of US government’s unfair treatment of Iranians based on baseless claims. He has been apprehended in the US under the pretext of circumventing the sanctions against Tehran.
Khazaei, 59, was arrested on January 9 in the state of New Jersey over the accusation of trafficking of plane documents. He was heading to the German city of Frankfurt.