Washington Abusing Tehran’s Positive Approach

Washington Abusing Tehran’s Positive Approach

A senior lawmaker said US officials are abusing Tehran's positive approach based on "Islamic clemency" that paved the way for a prisoner swap deal last January.
Deputy Chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Sobhaninia made the statement in an interview with ICANA on Wednesday.
He was referring to reports that Amir Hekmati, an Iranian-American who was released on January 16 under a prisoner swap with the US, has sued Tehran in a Washington court for allegedly torturing him during his 4.5 years in Iranian prisons.
Hekmati, a former US Marine, was arrested on spying charges for the US Central Intelligence Agency in August 2011 and was found guilty by a Tehran court in 2012. He was first sentenced to death, but the ruling was later reduced to 10 years in prison, of which Hekmati spent only a half before his release.
Sobhaninia said US officials have demonstrated their "hostility" toward Tehran once again, describing them as the orchestrator of the anti-Iran move.
"Hekmati and other spies [released under the swap deal] should have been dealt with [strictly] according to the law," he said.
Hekmati was released along with three other Iranian-American dual nationals, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, plus another American, after Washington granted clemency to seven Iranians who were held for sanctions-related charges and dropped arrest warrants for 14 others.
According to a lawsuit filed on Monday, Hekmati alleged that he was subjected to physical and psychological abuse while detained by Iran.
Sobhaninia described the measure as a plot to demonize Iran.
"Evidence is so clear that if he is tried in any impartial court, he will be certainly convicted," he said.
  Big Lesson  
Mansour Haqiqatpour, another member of the parliamentary commission, told ICANA on the same day that the move was made with the green light of the US government and is another example of their hostile approach.
"The move teaches a big lesson to the Foreign Ministry and Supreme National Security Council that they should not give a soft response to the US hostility," he said, referring to US spying efforts.
Days after the deal was implemented, SNSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani said the decision to release the American prisoners was made on humanitarian grounds and after being approached by their families, among other reasons.
Before the conclusion of the swap deal, Iran had for years rejected Washington's frequent requests to exchange its citizens with Iranians detained in the United States.


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