Fears Deepen For Families of People Held in Captive in Iran

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Families of several American and British people detained in Iran expressed their fear of their loved ones that are held captive in Iran. The family members spoke at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday to demand the release of spouses and parents held captive in Iran. Among those who spoke was a daughter of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in om March 9, 2007. In December 2013, The Associated Press revealed Levinson in fact had been on a mission for CIA analysts who had no authority to run spy operations. Nearly two dozen of Levinson’s relatives are expected in a Washington court this week.

Babak Namazi, whose brother and father are held captive in Iran said: “Of course any kind of protest that goes on in Iran, and any kind of situation, that overlaps potentially with the fact that our families and loved ones are being held there as well.” He added: We’ve been talking about the brutality of what our family members have been facing. But I guess this is just a reminder of what the abilities and capabilities are.”

Protests broke out across the country beginning in mid-November sparked by a spike in government-set gas prices. The Iranian regime, in an attempt to stifle protesters, cut off internet access inside Tehran and launched what humanitarian groups and citizens have described as a brutal clampdown, which allegedly killed hundreds. Tuesday during the London NATO meeting that “the question was asked do we support them, I thought, financially. And we haven’t supported them. I don’t know that we’ve ever been actually asked to support them financially,” he continued. “And you know, somebody asks, maybe we would. But we support them very very seriously. The people that are protesting in Iran. They’re looking for their freedom, and we are fully in support of them.” Rumors are that the Trump team are weighing imposing new sanctions on Iranian officials implicated in human rights abuses, relying in part on intelligence gleaned from some 36,000 pictures, videos and other tips sent in by Iranians caught up in the regime’s recent crackdown on mass protests.

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