Republicans link jailed US reporter to nuclear deal with Iran

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP looks to injure Nelson over Russia comments Rubio’s pro-family, conservative family leave policy promotes stability Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries MORE (Fla.) and Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThis week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill Trump attending Senate GOP lunch Tuesday High stakes as Trump heads to Hill MORE (Ill.) doubled down Monday on a push to get President Obama to tie the release of a Washington Post reporter to the ongoing Iran nuclear talks. 

“The Obama administration should demand Mr. [Jason] Rezaian’s immediate release along with all other Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran prior to concluding a nuclear deal with this brutal regime," the two Republicans said in a statement. 

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The Washington Post reported Monday that Rezaian, the paper's Tehran bureau chief, has been charged with espionage, “collaborating with hostile governments” and “propaganda against the establishment.”
 
The two senators, who have backed stronger sanctions against Iran, said the charges are "the latest example of the true nature of the Iran regime."
 
“It appears that Mr. Rezaian is being persecuted because of his profession as a reporter and his American citizenship," they said. "Freedom of press is a right that should be guaranteed to all individuals regardless of their nationality. We urge the Iranian government to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Rezaian." 
 
The reporter is one of four Americans currently being held by Iran. The Obama administration has repeatedly called for their release. 
 
The Republican senators, as well as 17 other senators, sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last month urging him to "bring up these cases during communications with Iran and demand the unconditional release of these Americans."