U.S. national jailed in Iran ends hunger strike, renews appeal to Biden

Washington — A U.S.-Iranian dual national imprisoned in Tehran ended a seven-day hunger strike on Monday, saying he had lost 10 pounds but felt strengthened in his resolve to

fight for the release of U.S. prisoners. Siamak Namazi, who has been detained since October 2015, said his strike marked the seventh anniversary of Washington's decision to

exclude him from a prisoner release that saw five other Americans freed after the inking of a historic denuclearization deal with Iran. Namazi had called on U.S. President

Joe Biden to consider the plight of American prisoners in Iran for a minute each day — one "for each of the seven years of freedom" he has lost since the prisoner swap, according

to a statement released by his lawyer on Monday. "I went on hunger strike because I've learned the hard way that U.S. presidents tend to rely more on their political

thermometer than their moral compass when deciding whether or not to enter a prisoner deal with Iran," he said. "I denied myself food for an entire week so that maybe

President Biden will recognize just how desperate the situation of the U.S. hostages here has become." According to his lawyer, Namazi lost about 10 pounds and his blood

pressure spiked above normal levels during the hunger strike. He also struggled to stay warm, the statement said. Namazi was blocked from leaving the country after a 2015

visit and sentenced to 10 years for collaborating with a foreign government, charges that he denies and that U.S. officials have called groundless.