Iran Announces Charges Against Washington Post Journalist

‘These are political charges against an American in Iran, and it’s really a sad story for him and his family’

“This is really a worst case scenario when you look at these charges as they have been laid out by his lawyer in Tehran. So, in addition to spying, it also says he’s been accused of collaborating with hostile governments as well as writing a letter to President Obama. In addition to that, collecting classified information and conducting propaganda against the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

So you have four charges there including spying, propaganda, collecting classified information, collaborating with hostile governments. Those are very serious charges. And keep in mind, Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post reporter you seen there with his wife who is actually held in prison with him earlier, she was released a number of months ago. He’s both American and Iranian and when you have that dual nationality in Iran they view as just an Iranian and subject to Iranian laws and subject to the Iranian judicial system. 

When you look at the charges, no one in this country believes them to have any basis. And in fact, I spoke at length with his brother yesterday for CNN State of the Union. When you look at the bases of these charges, I mean, the evidence that’s presented is so thin. Here’s what his brother Ali Rezaian had to say to me yesterday: 'Jason certainly feels betrayed by the country'-- he is talking about Iran there, because this is part of his nationality, part of his family background --' by the legal system there which he believes should protect him with the rights of an Iranian citizen.' 

His brother also told me he’s depressed, he’s being held in Evin Prison in Tehran. This is a notorious prison for decades where they’ve held political prisoners, the worst criminals; there have accounts of torture in the prison. Just the circumstances there are really lousy and he’s feeling it physically and mentally. 

And again, I just want to let you know, if you look at the basis of the charges, they put up evidence that he introduced one Iranian-American to another Iranian-American. I mean that doesn’t sound to me like espionage work. I’m sure it doesn’t sound to you. I mean these are political charges against an American journalist in Iran and it’s really a sad story for him and his family.”

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