Son of kidnapped dual national Iranian speaks of fears for father's wellbeing

Son of kidnapped dual national Iranian speaks of fears for father's wellbeing
Shayan Sharmahdsaid has said that he does not know where his father is being held or the charges against him, and that he fears for his safety.
3 min read
17 July, 2021
Jamshid Sharmahd was taken from a hotel in Duabi [Getty]

The son of Jamshid Sharmahd, who was kidnapped by Iran one year ago, has spoken of his fears for his father safety and wellbeing. 

Jamshid Sharmahd’s son, Shayan Sharmahdsaid, told The Independent that he had to speak out on his fathers case and has urged Iran to free his father. 

"I would just say, 'Don’t keep silent, we have to speak up. Now is definitely the time'," said Shayan. 

"And that goes out not just to all the people, but to all the governments, and the organisations. It affects everybody," he added.

Jamshid Sharmahd, a German citizen who resided in California, is known to be an outspoken critic of the Iranian regime and acted as a spokesperson for the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, who seek an end of the Islamist government that came to power after the revolution in 1979. 

Jamshid went missing in July 2020, and is believed to have been seized by Iranian authorities from a hotel near the Dubai International Airport. 

Details of his capture are unclear, but data from a tracking device on his phone suggested that he was transported from Dubai to a port in Oman, where he is then believed to have been taken to Iran. 

Days after he disappeared, Jamshid was brought before Iranian state television cameras, and he "confessed" to being involved in a terror attack on the Iranian city of Shiraz, which left 14 people dead and wounded hundreds of others. 

While the Kingdom Assembly of Iran has claimed responsibility for explosions that have occurred in Iran, Jamshid's family have consistently denied that he has anything to do with the allegations against him. 

According to Shayan, he does not know where his father is currently being held, the exact charges that have been levelled against his father, nor if a date has been set for his trial. 

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Shayan explained that his father suffers from Parkinson’s disease and that he feared for his wellbeing, adding that contact with his father was limited to once every two months. Shayan’s last call with his father lasted just 15 minutes, and he believed that he was cooperating with authorities. 

Shayan views his father’s kidnapping as a continuation of efforts by the Iranian government to pressure and intimidate dissidents of the regime. 

"It feels a bit like desperation, like they’re [Iran] backed into a corner," he told the Independent.

"The world is slowly waking up to the fact the regime running the country – which the people of Iran don't like – are just bullying everybody around the world," he added. 

Iran is holding a number of dual nationals in its prisons, which many observers believe are being used as political hostages to secure better terms in international deals. 

Iran is currently engaged in talks to restart the Iran nuclear deal, which both the US and Germany are a part of. 

Other dual nationals held by the Iranian regime include Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Anoosheh Ashoori, Kamran Ghaderi, Nahid Taghavi, Mehran Raoof, and Morad Tahbaz.