American held in Iran ends seven-day hunger strike, calls for ‘tough decisions’ to free imprisoned U.S. citizens


An American imprisoned in Iran since 2015 ended his hunger strike Monday after seven days, saying it was time for President Joe Biden to make a “tough decision” to free Americans held in Tehran.

Siamak Namazi announced the end of his strike through his lawyer, saying he was happy with the support and media coverage he had received.

“The flood of coverage gave me the strength to carry on when my body was at its weakest. It has lifted all of our spirits and renewed our hope,” Namazi said in a statement. “Please continue to raise awareness of our plight and don’t let us be victimized by Iran being held hostage. Don’t let President Biden leave us in this abyss of grief.

Namazi lost about 10 pounds and his blood pressure rose above normal levels after he began the fast, said his prominent lawyer, Jared Genser. He also suffered from loss of energy and ability to focus, and he struggled to stay warm, Genser said.

Namazi began the hunger strike by saying he wanted Biden to consider the plight of U.S. prisoners in Iran for one minute each day of the seven-day strike — one minute for each of the seven years he was behind bars, he said. “Left” in return.

“I went on hunger strike because I learned the hard way that US presidents rely more on their political thermometer than their moral compass when deciding whether to enter into a capitulation agreement with Iran — or indeed who to include,” Namazi said in his statement.

“I denied myself food for a whole week so that maybe President Biden would understand how desperate the situation has become for the US hostages here. So that he realizes that we’ve suffered too much for too long, and it’s time to match the US government’s priority demand to free us with the tough decisions necessary to bring us back home. All of us,” he said.

Namazi has been held captive in Iran more than any other American in history.

Iranian authorities sentenced him to 10 years in prison on charges of “cooperation with a hostile foreign government”. The United Nations, human rights organizations and the US government have said the allegations are baseless and that his detention is an arbitrary violation of international law.

When Namazi began his hunger strike a week ago.

In her statement from Evin prison, Namazi also mentioned women-led anti-regime protests in the streets of Iran, expressing her admiration for the female political prisoners held in Evin.

“Everyone here deserves our attention and respect for the sole crime of speaking their mind and demanding their rights and the rule of law,” Namazi said. “I would like to highlight the indomitable political prisoners, especially in the women’s ward. As outside, inside these walls these fearless women face far more restrictions than the men, yet they display a courage that we, frankly, fail to pluck. They are truly an inspiration to all of us.”

The Iranian government has also defended mass arrests of protesters and activists, portraying protesters as rioters or agents of foreign adversaries.

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