top of page

Source: Iranintl

Aug 26, 2023

US Envoy Meets Family Of Prisoner Sentenced To Death In Iran

Author: Iran International Newsroom

US envoy for Iran met Friday with the family of US permanent resident Jamshid Sharmahd, who was left out of a prisoner release deal with Tehran earlier this month.

Sharmahd, a German Iranian citizen who was kidnapped in Dubai by Iranian agents in 2020 and taken to Iran possibly through Oman, was sentenced to death in February in Iran after being convicted of heading a pro-monarchist group accused of a deadly 2008 bombing.

Deputy Special Envoy Abram Paley posted a picture of himself with Sharmahd's son Shayan and daughter Gazelle on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter."

I welcomed the opportunity to meet with Jamshid Sharmahd’s family today. He should have never been detained in Iran, and we hope to see the day he is reunited with his loved ones," Paley wrote.

Paley has taken over the position of US envoy for Iran after Rob Malley who was appointed to the post at the beginning of the Biden administration was put on unpaid leave in June after an apparent violation of security protocols. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is handling his case.

Responding to the post, Gazelle Sharmahd said she had told Paley she needed "actions" and that her father must be part of whatever is agreed to free US nationals.

"We will continue to urge the Biden Administration to work with stakeholders to #LeaveNoOneBehind or stop negotiations with my dad’s kidnappers," Sharmahd said on X.

Gazelle and Shayan have been camping outside the State Department for over a week, demanding a meeting with US officials to press their father’s case.

Diaspora Iranians have expressed a wave of support on social media for the Shahmahd family and many Iranian Americans have visited the daughter and son outside the State Department. Iran’s exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi visited them last week and voiced his support for their case.

A deal to free five US citizens taken hostage by Iran in exchange for freeing $6 billion of Iranian funds frozen in South Korea, has led to intense controversy, especially that two more prisoners were not included in the deal.

Former American and Australian hostages in Iran have criticized the Biden administrations for what is seen as essentially a ransom payment to Iran, arguing that it will further encourage hostage taking by bad actors.

Since his imprisonment, human rights organizations have warned of 68-year-old Sharmahd’s deteriorating health. He has been held in solitary confinement and was denied an independent attorney and fair legal procedures during his trial. In February, Iran's judiciary sentenced him to death.

Iran's intelligence ministry at the time when Shahrmahd was kidnapped and taken to Iran, described him as "the ringleader of the terrorist Tondar group, who directed armed and terrorist acts in Iran from America."

Based in Los Angeles, the little-known Kingdom Assembly of Iran, or Tondar, says it seeks to restore the Iranian monarchy that was overthrown by the 1979 Islamic revolution. It runs pro-Iranian opposition radio and television stations abroad.

bottom of page