WASHINGTON: An Iranian court has sentenced an Iranian-American businessman and his elderly father to 10 years in prison on charges of cooperating with the United States, the Iranian judiciary’s official news website reported on Tuesday.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps detained Siamak Namazi, an Iranian-American businessman in his mid-40s, in October 2015, while he was visiting family in Tehran. The IRGC arrested his father, Baquer Namazi, a former UNICEF official in his early 80s, in February.
“Siamak Namazi and Mohammad Baquer Namazi have each been sentenced to 10 years prison for cooperating with the hostile government of America,” Mizan website said, citing “an informed source”.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the sentences.
Siamak Namazi was most recently working for Crescent Petroleum, an oil and gas company in the United Arab Emirates. He was chosen as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum in 2007.
Baquer Namazi, a former Iranian provincial governor, served as UNICEF representative in Somalia, Kenya, Egypt and elsewhere, and for a time ran Hamyaran, an umbrella agency for Iranian non-governmental organisations.
He has a serious heart and other medical conditions requiring special medication, his wife wrote on Facebook in February.