An Iranian-American manager of the Aun Art Gallery in Tehran and his wife are imprisoned in Evin (ICHRI). The couple, Karan Vafadari and Afarin Niasari, have been jailed since July, but the story was only made public recently in hopes of securing their release in private. The couple hasn’t been charged with a crime and haven’t been given access to a lawyer since their arrest, although relatives have visited them on several occasions. Vafadari’s U.S.-based sister wrote a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, saying that the couple has been subjected to “extortion, property seizure, and national security threats.” She asked for their immediate release.
In August, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said that “two Iranian dual nationals” were charged with organizing mixed-gender parties with foreign diplomats as well as serving alcohol in their home. He noted that “the enemies of the revolution are engaged in organized corruption and depravity” and claimed 4,000 liters of booze were found in their home. He left out two key details: the couple are of the Zoroastrian faith and religious minorities in Iran aren’t subject to Islamic law. Thus, such actions aren’t illegal.
The former Italian ambassador to Iran Robert Toscano denounced the detention of Karan Vafadari and his wife (ICHRI). Ambassador Toscano condemned the arrest and said the couple were the most dignified people he met during the five years he spent as Italy’s ambassador to Tehran.
Here is a list of dual nationals currently detained by Iran:
Kamal Foroughi (British-Iranian), since May 2011
Nizar Zakka (Lebanese, U.S. permanent resident), since September 2015
Siamak Namazi (Iranian-American), since October 2015
Baquer Namazi (Iranian-American), since February 2016
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (British-Iranian), since March 2016
Robin Shahini (Iranian-American), since July 2016
Karan Vafadari (Iranian-American), since July 2016
Afarin Niasari (Iranian-American), since July 2016
Former Tehran Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian will write a memoir about his detainment in Iran, which lasted longer than the Iran Hostage Crisis (Washington Post).