Sun, 24 Mar 2019

The Washington Post reporter who was held in an Iranian prison for 18 months told a U.S. court that he was arrested as a way to pressure Washington in nuclear negotiations.

Jason Rezaian testified on January 8 as part of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Tehran.

He said his interrogators forced him to confess to spying. He also testified that his interrogators told him he would be released 'when the Americans give us what we want.'

The child of an Iranian father and American mother, Rezaian holds dual citizenship. He was The Post's Tehran bureau chief at the time of his arrest.

The Iranian government does not recognize dual citizenship and has frequently targeted dual citizens with espionage-related charges.

Rezaian was arrested on July 22, 2014 and spent 18 months in jail, including nearly 50 days in solitary confinement, before his release on January 16, 2016.

The release was made as part of a prisoner swap on the day the landmark nuclear accord between Iran and the United States and other allies went into effect.

His Iranian-born wife, Yeganeh Salehi, was held for two months.

Rezaian said he believes he was targeted because 'I was a high-profile dual national Iranian citizen.'

Rezaian now lives in Washington and writes for The Post's opinion pages.

The Iranian government has never responded publicly to Rezaian's lawsuit.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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