Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has introduced companion legislation to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s bipartisan resolution calling for Iran to immediately and unconditionally release U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents “unjustly detained for political purposes.”
According to Cruz’s press release, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has detained and imprisoned “several U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in order to extract political and financial concessions from our country.”
“Since the Iranian nuclear deal was implemented, hostages such as Siamak Namazi, Baquer Namazi, and Nizar Zakka have continued to endure political imprisonment, and Robert Levinson remains missing after 10 years,” the release says.
“As the Trump administration reviews U.S. policy toward Iran, I urge the President to make securing the unconditional release of imprisoned Americans and permanent legal residents in Iran a top priority,” the release continues. “Nizar Zakka, who is on his fifth hunger strike, languishes in Iran’s Evin prison. Siamak, an Iranian-American businessman, and his father Baquer are serving 10 year prison sentences. Meanwhile, Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent, has been missing since 2007. The Iranian regime must be held firmly accountable after the last eight years in which the U.S. policy towards Iran was based on weakness and appeasement. The U.S. should do all that is possible, including exploring opportunities to establish a multinational task force with our allies in order to free all those unjustly detained by Iran, bring them safely home, and reunite them with their families.”
The full text of the resolution can be found here.