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10/10/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/10/2017 16:22

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations approves Resolution Calling Attention to Ongoing Hostage Crisis in Iran

October 5, 2017

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves S.Res. 245

This morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved S.Res. 245, A resolution calling on the Government of Iran to release unjustly detained United States citizens and legal permanent resident aliens, and for other purposes, a Cruz-Leahy-Booker resolution that calls attention to the ongoing hostage crisis in Iran. Attached is a copy of the resolution.

The Resolution lists all known US persons held hostage in Iran, including Nizar Zakka. During committee deliberation, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said:

'If Iran wants to be accepted by the community of nations and be observed in the international order, as it suggests it aspires to do so, it has to stop hostage taking. And stop it in a particular way that targets United States citizens and Legal Permanent Residents and uses them, at the end of the day, as pawns.'

Before the summer recess, the House of Representatives approved a similar resolution, H.Res. 317, sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL).

Earlier this week, the Center for Human Rights in Iran published an article on the current status of Mr. Zakka's health, which is rapidly declining due to severe and untreated dental problems in addition to internal stomach bleeding.

On October 2, Mr. Zakka's attorney Mr. Jason Poblete informed CHRI that, 'Nizar cannot open his mouth or even eat, which led to an enforced hunger strike.' Mr. Zakka has had to resort to hunger strikes several times during his imprisonment to protest the false charges against him and cruel treatment he is being subjected to.

'Until this day, the infection and bleeding has increased significantly, while still the so-called assistant prosecutor Hajimoradi [first name unknown] has been denying and delaying Nizar's hospitalization and medical care,' said Poblete.

As Mr. Zakka's health continues to decline it becomes more critical that the Congress and United States government take action in securing the unconditional release of those unjustly detained by Iran.

The editorial by CHRI can found at:

For more information about the Zakka matter, please visit our website: