Washington Post Pens Scathing Op-Ed on ‘Ludicrous’ Jason Rezaian Conviction

Editorial board rails against “the brazen disregard for the rule of law and, ultimately, the sheer cruelty of Iran’s Islamic regime”

In the aftermath of Iran bureau chief Jason Rezaian’s conviction, the Washington Post editorial board wrote a scathing op-ed that railed against the “ludicrous” trial and conviction of its journalist, who has been imprisoned for over 14 months.

“From its beginning, the case of Jason Rezaian has been a showcase for the opacity, the brazen disregard for the rule of law and, ultimately, the sheer cruelty of Iran’s Islamic regime,” the editorial board wrote Monday.

The op-ed questioned the Rezaian’s conviction, which is shrouded in secrecy: “Convicted of what? Punished with what sentence? We don’t know: The court’s spokesman told state television he didn’t have ‘the verdict’s details.’ Nor, it appears, did Mr. Rezaian’s lawyer, who told the New York Times she had not been informed of the verdict and did not know whether Mr. Rezaian himself knew it.”

The piece argued that the “travesty” of Rezaian’s conviction should “shame the Iranian government” into releasing  him, particularly to prevent questions from international investors who might be concerned over their personnel’s vulnerability to similar types of arrests in Iran.

The op-ed listed off the various ludicrous charges levied against its reporter, including that he conspired with U.S. senators to improve U.S.-Iran relations and provided government officials with information about Iranians who broke sanctions rules.

“What’s true is that Mr. Rezaian, who was born in California but is of Iranian heritage, pursued journalism in part to improve Americans’ understanding of Iran. Most people would consider that a good thing,” the paper wrote.

It concluded by cautioning Iran to think about its international standing: “Iran has done extraordinary injury to Mr. Rezaian over the past 14 months. But the longer it holds him, the more damage it does to its international standing.”

Rezaian’s sentence is still unknown at this time.