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Iran Arrests Another Iranian-American

FILE - Siamak Namazi.
FILE - Siamak Namazi.

Iran has arrested a businessman holding dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship while he was visiting relatives in Tehran about two weeks ago.

Siamak Namazi is head of strategic planning at the Crescent Petroleum Company, based in Dubai.

The Wall Street Journal writes that Namazi was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which reports directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rather than the government of Iran. Namazi's detention came just days after the Iranian nuclear deal took effect on October 18, the so-called adoption day.

"We're aware of recent reports of the possible arrest in Iran of a U.S. citizen," a senior U.S. official said. "We're looking into these reports and don't have anything further to provide at this time."

FILE - Jason Rezaian.
FILE - Jason Rezaian.

4 Americans held

Namazi's imprisonment brings to four the number of Iranian Americans imprisoned by Tehran. The State Department has repeatedly pressed for their release.

They include Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who was recently convicted after an espionage trial; former Marine Amir Hekmati, who was accused of being a spy when he went to Iran to visit his grandmother, and Saeed Abedini, a pastor, who was convicted in 2013 of threatening Iran's security by holding religious gatherings in private homes in Iran. All three deny the charges against them.

Namazi has spoken out and written prolifically about his conflicted feelings regarding Iran where he was born and lived until his father got a job with the United Nations after the Iranian revolution in 1979. He returned to Iran after graduating from college, later becoming a U.S. citizen in 1993.

Namazi's family declined to comment about his arrest.