The Blaze, a US news network, reported Friday that Iranian officials “have decided to ‘wait and see’ if the U.S. will offer ‘many billions of dollars to release’ the businessman, Siamak Namazi, and his 80-year-old father, Baquer Namazi, who were each sentenced to ten years in prison last week for “cooperating with the hostile American government.”
Citing, as its source for the apparent ransoming of the Namazis, an “Iranian news outlet close to the country’s Revolutionary Guard,” The Blaze also referred to previous US-Iranian bargains for U.S. nationals imprisoned on trumped up charges by the regime in Tehran.
While the White House had insisted that the $1.7 billion the Obama administration paid Iran, “at around the same time the country released a number of American hostages,” was not a ransom payment, President Hassan Rouhani suggested, in a September interview with NBC, “that the exchange was just that.”
The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last month that would have outlawed ransom payments to Iran. President Obama “has threatened to veto such legislation” as it “might affect other business it plans to conduct with Iran,” The Blaze said.