The arrest, detainment and recent sentencing to ten years’ imprisonment of Iranian American Businessman Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer Namazi, have received ample coverage in the media. From cbs-news, through Reuters, Huffington Post to NY times. Yet, what is not covered enough is the political significance of this Iranian act.
The confounding thing is that the Namazi’s, as reported at length in the the daily beast, were pushing for Iran-US rapprochement, were calling for easing sanctions against Iran and were instrumental in the lobby efforts of the pro-Iranian organization National Iranian American Council (NIAC). We can only assume that they now regret their efforts on Iran’s behalf.
But most astounding are the political implications of this arrest and sentencing.
According to Mizan News Agency, a website linked to Iran’s judiciary, as reported in iranwire, the Namazi’s were convicted of “cooperating with the hostile government of America”. Despite the nuclear agreement, despite the numerous appeasement attempts by the US and despite the administrations’ reservations regarding the renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act (and potential showdown with congress on this issue, as reported by reuters), Iran has not changed its attitude towards the US.
In addition, the video posted on mizan-on-line, was interpreted by many as further “humiliation of the US”. The NY times deduced the following: “Mr. Namazi’s arrest appeared to be part of a broader crackdown by Iran’s hard-line security forces against Iranians with Western ties..most notably the United States”. They go on to assume that his arrest is part of “bargaining leverage to win more disputed monetary claims against the United States”.
In a separate blog article in the NY times titled “no justice in Iran” it is noted: “Iranian hardliners have intensified their anti-Western crackdown by sentencing two Iranian-Americans to 10 years in prison”.
In an additional NY times article analysts are cited evaluating that “the prosecutions of people with dual citizenship are really attempts by hard-liners to gain leverage for Iran in international negotiations, and to impede the normalization of diplomatic ties between Iran and the United States, which some Iranian officials still refer to as the Great Satan”.
So, everything is legitimate in the Iranian battle against the “Great Satan”. The indictment of a father and son. The humiliation of them. The sacrifice of pro-Iranian “good doers”.
At least it has been clarified. It is now official. Iran views the US as a hostile government. Period. No matter what.