U.S. has no information on jailed Post reporter

The State Department has no new information on the whereabouts or welfare of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, detained two weeks ago in Iran, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

“We remain concerned about his detention in Iran,” along with others seized July 22, Psaki said.

“Our focus is on doing everything possible to secure the safe return and release of Mr. Rezaian and the others detained with him,” Psaki said. “We, of course, call on the Iranian government and continue to call on the Iranian government to immediately release him and the other individuals.”

Rezaian was arrested with his wife, Iranian journalist Yeganeh Salehi, and two other people. One was released but the others remain jailed and have not been heard from. Iran has announced no charges.

The names of the others arrested with Rezaian and Salehi have not been made widely public, but Psaki noted that both Rezaian and the third person held hold dual citizenship.

Mary Rezaian pleads for the Iranian government to release her son, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi. The two were arrested last week on undetermined charges in Tehran along with two others, one of whom has since been released. (Provided to The Washington Post)

The State Department has requested access to Rezaian and the other dual national, working through Switzerland, which has acted as an intermediary since the rupture of U.S.-Iranian diplomatic relations following the 1979 revolution.

Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, considering those who hold it to be Iranian only, and thus routinely denies such requests for jail visits by the Swiss. Psaki said there was no update to report on the Swiss request, indicating that Iran has either denied the request or has not responded.

Psaki also said she could not corroborate or refute media reports on Monday that a caretaker or doorman at Rezaian’s apartment building died after an altercation with Iranian security agents seeking Rezaian’s arrest.

“We, of course, have seen the reports that an individual in Mr. Rezaian’s building died from injuries sustained” at the time of the arrest, Psaki said. “We don't have any further information or confirmation of those reports.”

The Iranian mission to the United Nations did not respond to a question about the veracity of those reports or queries about Rezaian’s whereabouts or status.

Iran has periodically arrested dual nationals visiting or working in Iran, in some cases holding them for many months.

Asked Tuesday about the United States’ continued negotiations with Iran while it holds Americans, Psaki said the matters are separate. The talks, which will resume within a month, are aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

Anne Gearan is The Washington Post's diplomatic correspondent.
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