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Trump tells Iran to release detained Americans or face "consequences"
Trump added that he and his administration are "redoubling efforts" to bring all Americans who are unjustly detained abroad home.
By Mae Owen
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — President Trump said on Friday that Iran will face "new and serious consequences" if it does not release and return the American citizens that it holds in detainment, including a federal law-enforcement agent who has been missing since visiting in Iran since 2007. Trump added that he and his administration are "redoubling efforts" to bring all Americans who are unjustly detained abroad home.
"Iran is responsible for the care and wellbeing of every United States citizen in its custody," Trump said.
Among the detainees are Robert Levinson, an agent with the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration who disappeared in 2007 while in Iran investigating a cigarette-smuggling case. His whereabouts are unknown, and the Iranian government denies that it is holding him and has offered to help the United States search for him. The U.S. government will pay a $5 million reward for information leading to his safe return.
The White House also seeks the return of Iranian-American Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps arrested Siamak in October 2015 when they were visiting family in Iran and sentenced him to 10 years in prison on charges of spying and colluding with the U.S. government against Iran. Baquer subsequently was arrested and handed the same charges and same sentence in February 2016.
There is a fourth detainee, Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University graduate student who was arrested while in Iran last summer researching for his doctoral dissertation. A court sentenced him to 10 years in jail on charges of spying, as well.
Trump's Friday proclamation follows a week of statements denouncing Iran. On Tuesday, the White House enacted new sanctions against Iran over its ballistic-missile program and said that the Iranian regime's "malign activities" in the Middle East undercut and "positive contributions" stemming from the 2015 nuclear agreement.