Detained US citizen Baquer Namazi has been allowed to leave Iran and his son has been granted furlough from prison, a State Department spokesperson told AFP Wednesday, confirming their release.
"Wrongfully detained US citizen Baquer Namazi has been permitted to depart Iran, and his son Siamak, also wrongfully detained, has been granted furlough from prison," the spokesperson said.
Namazi, 85, was placed under house arrest for medical reasons in 2018 but prevented from leaving Iran despite his family’s pleas that he travel to receive emergency heart surgery after suffering multiple hospitalizations.
Last October, he underwent surgery in Iran to clear a blockage in an artery to the brain that his family and supporters described as life-threatening.
The UN announced this week that following heavy pressure on the Iranian government, Tehran had agreed to lift Namazi's travel ban so he could receive medical treatment abroad.
Namazi was arrested when he traveled to Tehran to visit his incarcerated son Siamak, a 49-year-old energy executive. Security forces had arrested the son, an advocate of closer ties between Iran and the West, months earlier while he visiting Iran on a business trip.
Both Namazis were sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran on what the US and UN say were trumped-up spying charges.