BEHIND THE IRAN HEADLINES Series, FEBRUARY 24, 2022
Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRI-US Deputy Director: This prisoner swap is a very sad and disgusting ordeal. This is pure terrorism and hostage-taking pursued by the Iranian regime. In the 1980s and 1990s the Iranian regime, using its proxies in Lebanon, took foreign nationals and journalists hostage and then extracted money to release them. They have now found a more convenient way to do it; Taking foreign or dual nationals hostage and seeking ransom and concessions to release them. Playing the Iranian regime’s hostage card is only going to breed more hostage-taking and more terrorism. This cycle must end. Remember there were pallets of cash of billions of dollars given to the Iranian regime in 2015 during the original nuclear deal to release a handful of hostages unjustly held in Iran, and now they are playing the same game. This must stop.