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Iranian-American detained in Iran undergoes surgery

WASHINGTON (AP) – An 84-year-old Iranian-American man who has been held in Iran for more than five years underwent surgery on Tuesday to clear a blocked cerebral artery that his family and supporters have described as life. threatening.

Baquer Namazi’s operation “appears to have been a success and Baquer is awake, although he remains groggy,” according to a statement from Namazi’s attorney, Jared Genser. He is expected to stay in the intensive care unit for two more days and then be transferred to a general convalescent unit before being released.

Genser and Namazi’s son Babak urged Iran weeks ago to lift the travel ban that kept his father inside the country so he could receive medical treatment in another country . Genser submitted a brief earlier this month to the United Nations saying Iran’s actions violated Namazi’s rights.

Instead, the operation took place in Iran, and Genser said that while the family was grateful that the operation went well, “serious concerns remain about the quality of follow-up care available in Iran. , the significant risk of exposure to Covid-19 in hospital and the need for a stress-free environment for recovery, which threatens Baquer’s long-term survival and well-being.

He reiterated his demand that Iran allow Namazi to leave the country immediately to continue his medical recovery and reunite with his family.

Namazi, a former UNICEF representative and two-time Iranian-American national, was arrested in 2016 while traveling to Tehran to see his son Siamak Namazi, a businessman arrested in Iran a few months earlier. The two Namazis were sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran on what the United States and the United Nations say are trumped-up espionage charges.

Baquer Namazi was granted medical leave in 2018 and his sentence was subsequently commuted to time served, but Iranian authorities did not allow him to leave the country. Siamak Namazi is still imprisoned in the infamous Iranian prison of Evin.

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