Detained Iranian American Baquer Namazi leaves Iran for Oman

The 85-year-old former official convicted of spying in Iran has left the country while his son remains under arrest.

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An Iranian American man, 85 years old, jailed by Iran on globally criticized espionage allegations, has departed for Oman, authorities reported, as pressure intensified to rescue him despite his ill condition.

The state-run IRNA news agency released a video depicting Baquer Namazi boarding a Royal Oman Air Force flight in Tehran, based on the aircraft’s location. It was stated that Namazi fled the nation on Wednesday.

The family’s attorney in Washington, Jared Genser, released a photo of Namazi boarding the plane with a suit and tie.

“After a brief layover, he will depart Oman for Abu Dhabi,” Genser explained. Namazi will be treated in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, for a blockage in a neck artery that puts him at high risk of having a stroke.

In 2016, the former UNICEF official who had previously served as governor of Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province under a Shah backed by the United States was detained. He had traveled to Iran out of concern for his son, who had been arrested there in 2015.

The Iranian government freed him for medical reasons in 2018 and commutated his sentence to time served in 2020. However, they essentially prevented his departure until Saturday, when the United Nations stated he would be allowed to leave for medical care.

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