As tensions rise between the United States and Iran, the family of one imprisoned American is praying for help at the highest levels.
Iran, who was emboldened by a sugar-coated nuclear deal masterminded by former President Barack Obama, has continually upped the ante in terms of its rhetoric against the United States. Now, after five Americans have been imprisoned in the Persian nation, there are calls from those affected to have current U.S. President Donald Trump intervene on their behalf.
One prisoner, Robin Shahini, has initiated a hunger strike in hopes of drawing attention to his imprisonment.
“Shahini’s girlfriend, Sevil, who does not want her last name used, said he told her that ‘they treat him like a terrorist, calling him “foreigner,” “American,” in a very insulting way.’
“‘He is a hostage because he is American. They see him as a hostage and they really treat him that way.’
“‘They are silently killing him,’ she says.
“The number of arrests and detentions of visitors…especially dual-citizens… has spiked, warns Lisa Daftari, the editor of the website ‘The Foreign Desk,’ who has followed Shahini’s case.
“‘In the aftermath of the nuclear deal with Iran, we would expect things to get better,’ she said. ‘But we’ve seen an increase in executions, we’ve seen an increase in crackdowns against journalists, against dual-citizens, against academics, political dissidents, women’s human rights leaders. And this is not what we expected.'”
“Daftari also said the arrest and trial of Shahini, and other dual-U.S. citizens like him, serves as a broader propaganda purpose for Tehran.”
Daftari is absolutely right, and her words should be heralded. A great deal of media figureheads have flat out refused to acknowledge the change in behavior coming from Iran, let alone connect their newfound boldness with the capitulatory nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration.
Should Trump decide to intervene, it could be the spark that finally incinerates Iran’s facade of diplomacy with the Western world and their allies.