With the finalization of the negotiations on the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOPA) in Vienna, reports indicate that the American negotiating party, in this round of negotiations, is seeking the immediate and unconditional release of Iranian-American dual nationals by the Islamic Republic.  These dual nationals were taken ‘hostage’ by the Iranian regime as a negotiation tactic prior to the revival of JCOPA talks, in order put pressure on western governments.

In this regard, the IOPHR, while appreciating the insistence of US government officials in protecting the rights of their citizens, notes that Iranian-European dual hostages held in Iranian prisons should also receive the same legal protections as their American counterparts. Thus, asks for the European governments’ firm commitment, in regards to the freedom of Iranian-European dual hostages held in Iranian prisons prior to the revival of JCOPA.

The following people: Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali and Habib Asvad, Iranian-Swedish citizens, Massoud Masaheb, Austrian-German citizen, Kamran Ghaderi, Iranian-Austrian citizen, Nahid Taghavi and Jamshid Sharmahd, German citizens, Mehrdad Raouf, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anousheh Ashouri, British-Iranian citizens, Fariba Adelkhah, Iranian-French citizen, and Benjamin Berry, French citizen, are all among European citizens who have been taken hostage by the Iranian regime, either for extortion purposes, or for putting pressure on the international community.

It should be noted that among the above names, Mr. Jashmid Sharmahd and Mr. Habib Asvad were abducted by the security agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, outside of Iran, and then transferred to Iran.

Accordingly, the IOPHR calls on all European governments, especially the governments of Germany, France and Great Britain, which are the main negotiating parties with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the EU foreign policy apparatus to address the plight of European hostages in Iran. At the same time, the US government should refrain from signing any agreement with the ruling regime in Iran until the necessary guarantees for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages are obtained.

The IOPHR, as always, notes that the promotion of the human rights situation in Iran is the only way to address the dangers posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran to international peace, comfort and security.

The International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights

London, Brussels, Berlin, Toronto, Washington

27 February 2022

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