Mon, 02 Oct 2023

Washington, DC [US], September 18 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday expressed his happiness and said that the US will use the Levinson Act and other tools to promote accountability for Iran and other regimes for the cruel practice of wrongful detention of Americans.

Secretary Blinken in an official press release said,"Act, which bolsters our ability to bring home hostages and wrongfully detained U.S. nationals held overseas, and President Biden's Executive Order 14078, which builds on the Levinson Act and reinforces the tools to deter and disrupt hostage-taking and wrongful detention by other countries... Wewill use the Levinson Act and other tools to promote accountability for Iran and other regimes for the cruel practice of wrongful detention."The official press release informed that Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz, and two other U.S. citizens who wish to remain private have departed Iran and are on their way back to the United States to be reunited with their families.

They are joined by two of their relatives, also U.S. citizens, who had been prevented from leaving Iran.

In the press release, the US Secretary recognised the abduction of US citizen, Bob Levinson and said that the Iranian regime has yet to account for his fate.

He said,"The Iranian regime has inflicted unimaginable pain on Bob's family, and they have yet to account for his fate. We once again call upon the Iranian regime to give a full accounting of what happened to Bob Levinson."Quoting the press release, several of these individuals have spent years imprisoned as part of the Iranian regime's cruel practice of wrongful detention, but today they are all returning home to their loved ones.

Antony Blinken also lauded the Joe Biden-led US government and said that the safety and security of U.S. citizens is the utmost priority for him and the US President.

He added,"Under President Biden's leadership, we have now secured the release of more than 30 wrongfully detained Americans around the world. I am grateful to everyone from the State Department and across the government who worked tirelessly to bring home our U.S. citizens."Blinken emphasised that the US will not rest until every wrongfully detained American reaches home safely.

He said,"I would like to express our deep appreciation for the indispensable role played by the State of Qatar over the last two years in mediating this arrangement."He also thanked the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and senior Qatari officials for their steadfast involvement and assistance in securing the release of U.S. citizens and establishing the Humanitarian Channel in Qatar for Iran to purchase humanitarian goods like food, medicine, medical devices, and agricultural products.

In the end, the US State Secretary reiterated the US warning for all its citizens not to visit Iran and said the result would not be the same for all the citizens.

He said,"I want to reiterate the State Department's clear warning to U.S. citizens: do not travel to Iran. While this group of U.S. citizens has been released, there is no way to guarantee a similar result for other Americans who decide to travel to Iran despite the U.S. government's longstanding warning against doing so."The release added,"We continue to work with like-minded countries to deter future hostage-taking and hold Iran and other regimes accountable for such actions, including through actions we are taking today. U.S. citizens should not travel to Iran for any reason, and I call on any U.S. citizens in Iran to depart immediately." (ANI)

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