Anoosheh Ashoori starts a hunger strike to protest against the taking of hostages in Iran | Iran
An Anglo-Iranian imprisoned in Iran is due to begin a hunger strike on Sunday in support of a 77-year-old American who is demonstrating outside the nuclear talks in Vienna against the Iranian hostage-taking.
Anoosheh Ashoori, who is being held in Evin prison in Tehran, is organizing the strike in an act of solidarity with Barry Rosen, who launched his four days ago. He told the Guardian he was touched by the support, as well as other messages sent to him by Iranians in prison.
Anoosheh, arrested in August 2017, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage.
Rosen is protesting in Vienna outside talks on Iran’s nuclear program, where talks resumed earlier this month.
The United States has said that the more Iran fails to comply with the 2015 Vienna agreement – intended to curb Tehran’s nuclear program – the closer it will come to the ability to build an atomic weapon. But a European Union spokesman said on Friday a deal was possible.
Rosen and others expressed hope that the hostages would be released as part of the deal, or alongside it.
Rosen was also joined in a hunger strike by Lebanese American resident Nizar Zakka, who was detained by Iran between 2015 and 2019.
“I get heartbreaking messages from Iranians, and I am absolutely honored that Anoosheh is doing this to support me. I totally support him in return and urge him to be careful and take care of him,” he said. he declares.
Rosen, then a US press secretary at the US Embassy in Tehran, was himself held hostage by Iran for 444 days between 1979 and 1981 after hardline students stormed the embassy.
Rosen admitted, “I’m starting to feel tired and weak, but I’m determined to keep going.”
He said: “I am here to call on Americans and Europeans to make the release of the hostages a condition of any agreement to renew the Iran nuclear deal. It’s been going on for 40 years and people are being thrown in jail without any evidence. There has to be an agreement for this to end.
He added that he was struck by the lack of coordination among Western nations on the issue of hostage taking. “It’s like keeping cats. Each country seems to manage its two national hostages on its own. There is no sense of community, so they leave Iran to choose each country. Something is missing here. Iranians seem to be divided and to reign.
“I decided to do this two weeks ago. I’m just an individual and I thought I was a lone eagle, but I feel like a movement could start.
He said it was possible that others would resume the hunger strike when he could not continue.
Anoosheh’s wife, Sherry, said: “We are extremely concerned about his health as he approaches his 68th birthday, but having seen no progress in the Foreign Office’s efforts to secure his release and no sign of the well-being of the hostages currently held by Iran being a priority of Western governments, he will begin his hunger strike.