Iran Bill Amendments to Address Americans Detained in Iran

On Tuesday, the US Senate will commence what may prove to be a monumental foreign policy debate as it considers legislation to provide for Congressional review and oversight of agreements relating to Iran’s nuclear program. Among a number of amendments already filed are several intended to promote the release of US citizens currently detained in Iran. While it is unclear whether such an amendment will be included in the bill — which represents a hard-fought, delicate compromise between the Administration and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress — the amendments will at least serve to shed light on the issue of pretrial detention in Iran, and hopefully, will contribute to the potential release of Americans unlawfully detained there. One of those American detainees, Jason Rezaian, is a Washington Post reporter who has been in pretrial detention for the last 9 months. The Iranian Revolutionary Court has never publicly disclosed the charges against him, and there has yet to be a date set for trial. He has reportedly been denied treatment and was only granted access to his attorney in the last week.
At the end of his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner this weekend, President Obama asserted that his Administration would not rest until Mr. Rezaian is freed to return home. Regardless of the fate of well-intentioned Senate amendments advocating for the release of Americans detained in Iran, we are encouraged by the attention and commitment offered by both branches of government, and we hope they continue to work together to secure Mr. Rezaian’s release.

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