Tehran Sentenced to Pay $ 180 Million to Formerly Detained American Journalist

US justice considers that Iran has used the detention of Jason Rezaian to "increase its leverage in the ongoing negotiations with the United States."

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A federal court in Washington on November 22 sentenced Tehran to pay $ 180 million to Jason Rezaian, Washington Post who spent a year and a half in Iranian prisons. This decision, largely symbolic, was taken for "Dissuasive", according to a copy of the judgment consulted by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The US-Iranian journalist, stationed in Tehran, was arrested with his wife on July 22, 2014, when Iran had agreed to revive international negotiations on its nuclear program, suspected of hiding a military component. His wife had been released after two months in detention. Accused of" spying " for the United States, he spent 544 days at Evin Prison in northern Tehran, where he was ill-treated, deprived of sleep and threatened with beheading.

With three other American prisoners, he was finally exchanged for seven Iranians pursued in the United States. His release came on January 16, 2016, the first day of the application of the agreement says "Vienna" supposed to guarantee the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, which has since been denounced by Donald Trump.

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A "pawn" in a global chess game

"Iran has arrested and detained Jason to increase his leverage in the ongoing negotiations with the United States"said Judge Richard Leon in his decision. "Taking a man hostage and torturing him to secure an advantage in negotiations is shameful, deserves punishment" and it needs "Deter" Iran's behavior, he added, by setting $ 180 million in compensation for the journalist, his mother and brother, who had joined the complaint.

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Jason Rezaian told AFP in February that he felt like a "Pawn" in a world chess game. "Treated like an Iranian and traded as an American", he said he realized during his detention that his " value " was indexed to the results of the nuclear talks.

Iran, which does not recognize dual nationality, regularly stops binationals. The Islamic Republic denies using it as a means of pressure in the diplomatic game, but recognizes that it can be exchanged.


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