02242018Sat

Iran Continues Its Hostage-Taking to Gain Geopolitical and Financial Concessions

Iran Focus

London, 13 Oct - Nazanin Ratcliffe is a British citizen who worked as a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s charitable section. As she attempted to board a plane to return home after a visit with her family in Iran, she and her infant daughter had their passports confiscated by Iranian authorities.

Ratcliffe is now in prison on charges such of orchestrating a “soft overthrow” of the Iranian government. Her trial was conducted without due and fair process.

The number of Westerners imprisoned in Iran has increased since the nuclear deal. The US State Department has acknowledged the increasing threat against Americans, and issued a travel warning in March, “Iran has continued to harass, arrest, and detain US citizens, in particular dual nationals.”

In his article for Arab News, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, Iranian-American political scientist and president of the International American Council, writes, “It is very important to understand the intersection of Tehran’s hostage-taking, foreign policy and revolutionary ideals. Its hostage-taking policy goes back to 1979, when the theocratic regime was established. It began with the US Embassy takeover in Tehran, which led to 52 Americans being held hostage for 444 days, until the regime achieved its political and ideological objectives.”

He adds that, “Tehran holds foreign hostages as pawns to extract economic concessions and obtain geopolitical and financial gains. It often uses these innocent hostages to swap prisoners.”

Tehran has learned that holding foreigners hostage can bring in money and increase its political leverage against the West, according to Dr. Rafizadeh, and therefore, submitting to Iran’s demands will encourage and reinforce its behavior. “For Tehran, holding hostages is a political and ideological exercise, and a form of leverage against other countries,” he writes.

Regarding hostage-taking, Tehran has been publicly asking for more money to release them. For recently arrested Americans, it said it is seeking “many billions of dollars” for their release. Tehran also uses hostages as a tool to pressure the West.

It appears that Iran is sending a message to the Iranian people — improved economic ties with the West do not mean political and social liberalization. Tehran is letting the West and young Iranians know that the nuclear deal does not mean it will welcome Westerners, alter its foreign policy or respect human rights.

Holding hostages is a means of imposing political and ideological leverage against Western countries for Tehran.

Search

Iran: Kian Tyre factory workers protest overdue wages

Iran - Feb 6: Protest by swindled investors of the Caspian investment fund in Rasht

Iran Protests- Jan. 5, 2018 City of Tabriz, Protests Inside the Football Stadium

Iran Protests- 5 Jan 2018 - Crowd Chants Slogan Against State Security Forces

Iran Protests- January 5, 2018 City of Tabriz, Protests Inside the Football Stadium

Iran- Dezful - South of Iran, the Funeral of Mohsen Adeli Who Was Killed by Regime During Protests

Iran Protests- January 5, 2018. Tabriz, the Repressive Special Guards Run Away From Youths

Iran Protests - Jan. 4, 2018 - City of City of Dezful -Southwestern Iran

Iran Protests- Tehran, January 3, People Fight Back Against Plain Clothes and Security Agents

Iran Protests- Tehran Jan 3, Outraged People Chanting, Death to Khamenei, Death to the Dictator

Iran Protests- Jan 4, 2018- City of Isfahan

Iran Protests- January 2, 2018 Ahwaz, Sixth Day of Uprising

Iran Protests- Sixth Day of People's Uprising Against the Regime, Tehran, January 2, 2018

Iran - Jan. 1, 20117. Protesters Shot by Regime's Security Forces in a Hospital, in Shahinshahr

Iran Protests- January 1, 2018 Toysercan , Hamadan Province, Fourth Day of Uprising

Iran Protests- Fifth Day of People's Uprising Against the Regime, Shadegan, January 1, 2018

Iran Protests- Fifth Day of People's Uprising Against the Regime, Dehloran, January 1, 2018

Iran Protests- People's Uprising Against the Regime, Tehran, January 1, 2018

Iran Protests- Fifth Day of People's Uprising Against the Regime, Tehran, January 1, 2018

Iran Protests- 1 Jan 2018 Heavy Presence of Repressive Security Forces in Ahvaz Southwestern Iran

Iran Protests- Yazd Central Iran, Uprising of the People Against the Regime, January 1, 2018