Monday, February 22, 2021


The James Foley Foundation notes  the "current number of publicly disclosed (American) hostage and wrongful detention cases: 44."  We note that because we saw Joseph Choi's "National security adviser: US has begun communicating with Iran over hostages."  Iran and American hostages?

Did we slip back to the days of Jimmy Carter?


CBS' FACE THE NATION today, host Margaret Brennan speaking with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.  From the transcript:

MARGARET BRENNAN: But moving on to Iran, I want-- I want to make sure that I ask you, there are at least five Americans who are being held there as hostages. That's viewed as trying to build leverage over you-- over us in the United States. Do you need to begin hostage negotiations with Iran?
JAKE SULLIVAN: We intend to very directly communicate with the Iranians about the complete and utter outrage, the humanitarian catastrophe that is the unjust, unlawful detention of American citizens in Iran.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you done that yet?
JAKE SULLIVAN: We intend to demand-- it-- we are-- we have begun to communicate with the Iranians on this issue, yes. And we will continue to do so as we go forward. And our strong message to the Iranians will be that it-- we will not accept a long-term proposition where they continue to hold Americans in an unjust and unlawful manner. It will be a significant priority of this administration to get those Americans safely back home.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Has Tehran responded yet to the offer made this past week to begin nuclear talks? And-- and does the offer still stand, given what Iran said overnight about perhaps unplugging or, you know, dismantling some of the video surveillance of its nuclear facilities?
JAKE SULLIVAN: Well, in order to answer that question, let me offer just a couple of basic propositions. First, Joe Biden is intent, determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Second, he believes that hardheaded, clear-eyed diplomacy is the best way to do that. And so he's prepared to go to the table to talk to the Iranians about how we get strict constraints back on their nuclear program. That offer still stands because we believe diplomacy is the best way to do it. Iran has not yet responded. But what's happened as a result is that the script has been flipped. It is Iran that is isolated now diplomatically, not the United States. And the ball is in their court.

Who are the five?  Siamak Namazi (held since October 2015), Baquer Namazi (held since February 2016), Morad Tahbaz (held since January 2018), Emad Sharghi (held since December 2020) and Afshin Sheikholeslami Vatani (held since June 2020).

What's the plan, Joe Biden, what's the plan?


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