Iran Extends Temporary Prison Release of US Citizen

Iran has extended the temporary release from prison of a U.S. citizen freed earlier this week, his brother said Saturday, voicing hopes the liberation would become permanent.

Siamak Namazi, a 51-year-old Iranian American, has been held in Iran for years along with his elderly father, former UNICEF official Baquer Namazi, under convictions for espionage, allegations they both deny.

The younger Namazi was granted release from prison after his father, who was serving his sentence under house arrest, was allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi for medical treatment.

Siamak’s brother, Babak Namazi, said in a statement Saturday that Iranian authorities had granted his sibling a further three-day furlough and that he hoped a longer extension would follow.

“We hope and pray that he will be granted his full freedom soon so that our family can finally be made whole again,” Babak Namazi wrote.

He added that his father, counter to the recommendations of his Iranian physicians, would not undergo surgery to clear a life-threatening blockage in his left carotid artery.

For now, Baquer Namazi will instead attempt alternative treatments recommended by the Abu Dhabi medical team.

At least two other U.S. citizens are held in Iran.