Treacherous Hostage Diplomacy

The U.S. is giving money to the Iranian regime in exchange for five hostages. This deal is a slap in the face to all protesters.

No one is likely to be unhappy when innocent hostages are released from prisons in the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, this time, the joy of releasing U.S. hostages is quickly tarnished by the conditions that are allowing it to take place: The U.S. is giving $6 billion to the rulers in Tehran — money that had previously been frozen by sanctions.

Supporters of the deal claim that the money should only be used for humanitarian aid, such as medication. Medication that doctors in Iran cannot prescribe to injured protesters because they are not allowed to treat them. Drugs that the regime gives to detainees in prisons to poison and kill them. One such example is 32-year-old protester Javad Rouhi.

The deal is a slap in the face to those who have been tirelessly protesting against the regime for a year. In doing this deal, the U.S. also stabs in the back numerous Iranian workers who have been on strike for a year trying to drain the system financially. The fact that this deal is a few days after the anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s murder is especially treacherous.

Joe Biden’s administration isn’t only betraying protesters in Iran: at least two more detainees are being abandoned, including German citizen Jamshid Sharmahd, who lives in America. Leaving Sharmahd out of the deal seals his execution in Iran.

The U.S. ransom money could free five hostages in the short term, but in the long term it strengthens the Islamic Republic’s hostage diplomacy. If you reward a criminal for his crimes, then it’s no surprise when these crimes become more frequent. A transatlantic alliance is needed to develop a joint strategy to combat the Islamic Republic’s hostage diplomacy.

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