Transcript: Family of Emad Shargi on
The following is a transcript of an interview with Bahareh, Hannah and Ariana Shargi, Emad Shargi’s spouse and daughters, that aired Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, on “Face the Nation.”
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome again to Face The Nation. The launch of Brittney Griner from Russia is placing deal with different Americans held hostage overseas, together with Emad Shargi who has been detained in Iran since 2018. He was sentenced with out trial to 10 years in jail. Joining me now could be his spouse, Bahareh Shargi, and their two daughters, Ariana and Hannah. It’s good to have you ever right here.
BAHAREH SHARGI:Thank you. Thank you for having us right here, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I do know it is by no means simple to speak about this, however it’s necessary. It- there was so much that has occurred since we final spoke inside Iran and with these hostages launched. Bahareh, what was your response while you heard that Brittney Griner was launched?
BAHAREH SHARGI: I used to be ecstatic for Brittney and her household. Brittney ought to have by no means been detained, she’s an American citizen that was in Russia for no good cause in any respect. And I used to be very, very completely satisfied that she’s again house. And it additionally provides me hope as a result of it implies that this may be achieved for others, similar to my husband and different Americans who’re held in Iran.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So it is looking forward to you?
BAHAREH SHARGI: Yes, very a lot so.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So. Ariana, you realize, when Brittney Griner was launched, her agent issued a letter and it stood out to me as a result of they stated they are going to attempt to assist households like yours. In truth, they named Emad within the listing of those that are wrongfully detained, held for being American. Also listed, Morad Tahbaz, Siamak Namazi who has been detained seven years now. He was left behind when the US and Iran traded prisoners again in 2016. Do you discover that each one of you working collectively is- is making a distinction?
ARIANA SHARGI: I undoubtedly suppose so. I imply, we’re all part of this horrible membership that nobody desires to be part of. But it has been actually unbelievable to have this household of hostage households of Americans held overseas. And I do suppose that us serving to one another makes an enormous distinction, to get the phrase out, but additionally for this wonderful help system that we have developed. So I do actually sincerely admire the truth that Brittney goes to advocate for different hostages held overseas. I imply, Paul Whelan has been held in Russia now, for 4 years, I consider, and he is been left behind by two presidents. Our dad has been there- in Iran for 4 years. So something we are able to all do collectively, I undoubtedly suppose is extra highly effective than only one household advocating for their very own beloved one.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Hannah, I do know, once we all final spoke again in June, you had been all publicly asking for a gathering with President Biden and with White House officers?
HANNAH SHARGI: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you gotten one?
HANNAH SHARGI: No. We have nonetheless not heard from the President. We haven’t obtained a gathering with him. We’ve been asking as a household together with the opposite hostage households to satisfy with him for fairly a while, and I simply do not perceive why he is not assembly with us. I feel it could make a giant distinction to sit down down with him. I need to inform him about my dad, I need to inform him how scared we’re, how urgent this matter is and the way time delicate it truly is. I imply, our father may have been killed within the Evin hearth. We didn’t–
MARGARET BRENNAN: This was a hearth at a jail the place your father’s being held, again in October.
HANNAH SHARGI Yes. So there was a hearth and the riots on the jail the place he’s being held. We did not hear from him for 2 days, we did not know if he was alive or not. He inhaled tear gasoline and smoke from the fires and it simply exhibits that this can be a actually urgent problem. And there’s actually no time to attend. We do not know, actually, what’s gonna occur day after day. So I simply need to sit down with the President and inform him our story and ask that he does all the things he can to deliver our dad house. I imply, we reside in Washington, DC. We’ll come anytime he has- he has accessible for us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Did you obtain any response from the White House to your public calls?
BAHAREH SHARGI: We did. We did. We wrote because the households, Iranian households, Iranian-American households to the President, and we did get an acknowledgment of the letter. But that was it. And they suppose that the rationale why I might need to meet the President is that for the reason that first couple of weeks in workplace, he made it some extent to say that the hostages are certainly one of his priorities. And since that day that I heard that, I’ve had this hope in my coronary heart that this President goes to deliver Emad house. And but I’ve seen no indicators. It’s simply been discuss however nothing actually to indicate us that he is doing something or his administration, actually, to deliver Emad and the opposite Americans house.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, Ariana, with the prisoners in Iran, this can be a actually robust scenario. The US nuclear talks of Iran seem like crumbling. You have Iran now serving to Russia in Ukraine. For the White House, does it increase a threat by assembly with you? Do you suppose there is a good cause for them to not meet with you? Or do you are feeling such as you’re being handled in a different way?
ARIANA SHARGI: Frankly, I do not suppose there’s a good cause to not meet with us. I imply, we’re Americans at the start, earlier than even simply being a hostage household. But additionally, if Biden and his administration may have the braveness and the fortitude to get Brittney out of Russia, whereas Russia is in a conflict with Ukraine, then I do not see any cause why they should not be capable of get my dad out of Iran. It’s clear that they’ve the abilities and the instruments to- to make these troublesome negotiations and to- to make the- the laborious however right choices. And so I might simply encourage the President to essentially emphasize along with his administration and with the American people who this may be achieved and it ought to be achieved.
MARGARET BRENNAN: He did meet with Brittany Griner’s spouse, and with the household of Paul Whelan.
ARIANA SHARGI: Correct.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Secretary Blinken within the State Department has to deal with plenty of these points. Have you been in communication with them? Are they extra forthcoming?
HANNAH SHARGI: The State Department has been nice. We talked to them typically. And they’ve – I do know they’ve achieved so much to deliver our father house. But on the finish of the day, I feel what we actually want because the White House to be extra concerned, that’s actually the place the choice goes to return from. At the top of the day. The President has the authority to make these sorts of huge choices. And that is actually who we have to converse with now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, when I’ve requested Secretary Blinken prior to now, he says these points are so necessary to him. He carries a card in his pocket with the names of the hostages.
But as he likes to say, the opposite facet will get a vote. Do you get the sense that there – there’s a deal to be made? And that there is a selection to not take it? I imply, do you have got any sense of the place the diplomacy is? Or any progress with Emad?
HANNAH SHARGI: I imply. we’ve all the time requested and hoped that the difficulty of the JCPOA and our father’s launch are separate –
MARGARET BRENNAN: The nuclear deal.
HANNAH SHARGI: The nuclear deal. Yes. But as of now, we’ve seen no plan to deliver our father house. That’s what I’d actually prefer to see somebody say that is the plan, we will execute it. But plainly for the time being, there isn’t any clear concise plan to truly deliver my dad and the remainder of the Americans house from Iran.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Hannah, you tweeted the opposite day a reasonably highly effective tweet as a result of the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was requested by a reporter about your dad on the day Britney Griner was launched. And she stated she wasn’t aware of the case. You stated it was crushing, completely crushing to listen to that.
HANNAH SHARGI: Yes. It was undoubtedly laborious to listen to that she didn’t know my father’s title. She was not aware of the case, and deferred us to the State Department. Once once more. She was requested the identical query in June, and likewise stated that she was not aware of his title or the case. And I simply do not perceive how I ought to have religion that my dad’s going to be house, if the White House does not even know his title.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, diplomats I talked to say they’re engaged on this. It is only a very, very troublesome scenario. But you simply need your husband house. How is Emad? How is he doing? What have you learnt about his state?
BAHAREH SHARGI: Emad shouldn’t be effectively. We – we’re not effectively. Emad is hundreds of miles away from us. He’s an harmless American being held hostage for no good cause in any respect. Again, like Hannah stated, and we do not hear of any plan – explicit plan of how he can be introduced house. Again, with the – all the things happening with the hearth with the protests, Emad is in danger each single day, each single second. They all are, the hostages in Iran. And we simply -we simply do not know why the administration does not use all of the instruments they’ve and the President to simply encourage the administration to do what’s the proper factor. We are behind him. I hope that we ask all of the American individuals to be behind the President to assist help, deliver Emad and the opposite Americans house.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Because for you, this isn’t in any respect political.
HANNAH SHARGI: No.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You simply need your dad again.
HANNAH SHARGI: Yeah. This is a – it is a humanitarian problem on the finish of the day. It’s not a political problem. These are Americans they usually simply need to be house with their household. So it is not political. Really. It’s simply, it is about individuals on the finish of the day.
ARIANA SHARGI: And we’re developing on the fourth or fifth vacation season with out him.
HANNAH SHARGI: Fifth, fifth.
ARIANA SHARGI: Yes, sure.
BAHAREH SHARGI: And it’s – on the way in which right here, truly, I used to be telling the ladies, Oh, would not or not it’s enjoyable to go get a Christmas tree this weekend or at this time or one thing. And it simply would not be enjoyable. And we’ve not gotten it, and we’re ready for Emad to return. And it occurs it in truth, December 24 can be our anniversary and yet one more anniversary to be spent, the place Emad is in jail and I’m right here. So we simply need Emad again house.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, we want you the very best of luck with that. And we’ll hold following your story. Thank you a lot for speaking about your dad and your husband.
BAHAREH SHARGI: Thank you. Thank you a lot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you. We’ll be proper again.
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