Iran attempted last-minute hostage-taking in prisoner swap

Iran attempted last-minute hostage-taking in prisoner swap

How can you tell if your new partners in an agreement can be trusted? One hint — if they try to kidnap some of your citizens as part of a prisoner swap, don’t expect them to be too eager to meet other milestones in the deal. The New York Times’ Peter Baker offers a gripping account of the Iranian attempt to seize Jason Rezaian’s family and keep them in Iran even as the US concluded the exchange that set the Washington Post reporter free:

Three of the freed Americans were to leave Iran on a plane operated by the Swiss, who had helped broker the prisoner talks and who represent American interests in Tehran, where there is no United States embassy. A fourth had already left on a commercial flight, and a fifth, who lived in Tehran, had chosen to stay.

But as Mr. Rezaian and the other two prisoners, Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini, were preparing to leave, no one could find Mr. Rezaian’s wife, Yeganeh Salehi, or his mother, Mary. Ms. Salehi, an Iranian journalist,hadbeen arrested with Mr. Rezaian in July 2014 before being released, and his mother had gone to Iran to be closer to her imprisoned son.

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