Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian is angry at the U.S. government over his imprisonment in an Iranian jail for 496 days, his brother said on Monday.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Ali Rezaian, Jason’s older brother, said the journalist is “very depressed” and angry at the U.S. government since he was sentenced to an unknown prison sentence in Iran over espionage charges.
“I think his condition right now isn’t good,” Ali said. “He’s very depressed and he’s mad at pretty much everybody. He’s mad at our government. He’s mad at the Iranians that they would do this to him.”
Rezaian’s brother criticized the Obama administration for negotiating with the Iranian government on nuclear talks without making Jason’s release a precondition.
“The fact of the matter is the administration had the power to decide on what basis they were going to talk to the Iranians, and they set their priorities and they set their ground rules,” Ali said.
“And the Iranians set their own ground rules, which included things like massive amounts of sanctions relief to the tune of what I’ve been told is up to $700 million a month.”
Ali pointed to other countries that engaged in talks with Iran that set non-negotiable preconditions and said the U.S. should’ve done the same by saying it wouldn’t negotiate until “innocent Americans held in jail for no reason” are released.
“All I know is the Iranians are not going to let Jason or anybody else go unless they realize there’s a consequence for holding them. And in this case, the consequence for holding has been absolutely zero…” he concluded.
Rezaian received an unspecified jail sentence on Nov. 22.