Sen. Cruz: Securing the Freedom of Imprisoned Americans in Iran Should Be Top Priority
CALLS FOR UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF U.S. CITIZENS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS; URGES U.S. AND ALLIES CREATE MULTINATIONAL TASK FORCE FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS' FREEDOM
I introduced companion legislation to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's bipartisan resolution calling for the unconditional release of U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents unjustly detained for political purposes by Iran. This bill also urges the U.S. and its allies whose nationals have been detained to consider establishing a multinational task force to secure the release of the detainees.
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which oversees the regime's ballistic missile program and spearheads Tehran's terror campaign across the world, has detained and imprisoned several U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in order to extract political and financial concessions from our country. Since the Iranian nuclear deal was implemented, hostages such as Siamak Namazi, Baquer Namazi, and Nizar Zakka have continued to endure political imprisonment, and Robert Levinson remains missing after 10 years.
As the Trump administration reviews U.S. policy toward Iran, I urge the President to make securing the unconditional release of imprisoned Americans and permanent legal residents in Iran a top priority. Nizar Zakka, who is on his fifth hunger strike, languishes in Iran's Evin prison. Siamak, an Iranian-American businessman, and his father Baquer are serving 10 year prison sentences. Meanwhile, Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent, has been missing since 2007. The Iranian regime must be held firmly accountable after the last eight years in which the U.S. policy towards Iran was based on weakness and appeasement. The U.S. should do all that is possible, including exploring opportunities to establish a multinational task force with our allies in order to free all those unjustly detained by Iran, bring them safely home, and reunite them with their families.
The full text of the resolution may be viewed here.