Ali Rezaian Wants U.S. to Apply Pressure on Iran to Free Brother Jason

"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."

Jason RezaianAs Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian endures his 496th day of imprisonment in Iran, his brother, Ali Rezaian, spoke to The Daily Beast about his brother’s detention.

Ali Rezaian told The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove that the release of Americans held in Iran, including Jason, should have been a precondition for negotiations when the United States and other major powers met with Iranian officials over the summer to discuss the lifting of sanctions in exchange for Iran putting a halt to its nuclear weapons program. The release of Americans held in Iran was not part of the deal that was eventually reached.

“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 Rezaian told Grove.

But since that didn’t happen, Ali Rezaian wants the United States to find a way to apply pressure on the theocracy. “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 said.

Rezaian was sentenced to prison last week, but the length of the sentence has yet to be disclosed. In addition to Rezaian, three other Americans are detained or have gone missing in Iran.