Families of Americans held in Iran call for response from Trump: report

Families of Americans held in Iran call for response from Trump: report
© Getty Images

Families of Americans who are being detained in Iran have urged the White House to not allow the children of Iranian officials to get visas in the U.S., NBC News reported Monday.

There are at least four U.S. citizens and one resident currently being detained in Iran on espionage charges that human rights advocates say are baseless, NBC News reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nadim Zakka, the son of Nizar Zakka, who is being detained, told NBC News that preventing children of Iranian officials from getting visas is "the minimum the United States Government can do to stop this trend of hostage-taking that has been happening for 40 years."

"They need to pay the price on a personal basis so that they would know that each action will affect them personally," Zakka added. 

A State Department official told NBC News that the U.S. is considering "all options" in response to Iran's detainment of U.S. citizens.  

"The United States is pursuing all options for pressing the Iranian regime to end their arbitrary detention of U.S. persons and will continue to press Iran on these cases until they are resolved," the official said. 

The families of the detained Americans on Monday also wrote an open letter to world leaders accusing Iran of taking hostages and urging the rest of the world to take action, saying that "inadequate pressure" from other countries has offered Iran "little incentive" to end taking hostages.  

"We believe that the Iranian authorities have little incentive to end the cruel and horrific practice of hostage taking as a result of inadequate pressure from the international community," the letter reads, according to NBC News. "World leaders need to make the political cost for committing human rights violations so high that releasing our loved ones becomes advantageous to the Iranian authorities."