Mysterious American chooses to stay in Iran after release?

posted at 8:01 pm on January 18, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration’s prisoner swap with Iran involved freeing seven Iranians, dropping warrants on fourteen others, and paying Tehran $1.7 billion for five Americans. One of those, though, won’t be coming to the US. Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari has opted to stay within the hospitable confines of Iran despite the bargain. That might raise some eyebrows all on its own, but ABC’s John Parkinson reports that Khosravi-Roodsari’s presence in the deal raises even more basic questions — such as, who is he?

Khosravi-Roodsari’s name does not appear anywhere on the Internet prior to Saturday’s announcement when the State Department named him and four other Americans involved in the swap. In the digital age of the 21st century, his anonymity online is an anomaly in itself.

So what was Khosravi-Roodsari doing in Iran? How long had the American been jailed? Why was he imprisoned?

“When it comes to Roodsari, privacy considerations preclude us form offering any more details,” one senior administration official noted in an email to ABC News this morning. …

Given the exhaustive efforts the United States expended to win his freedom, Khosravi-Roodsari’s decision to stay in Iran rather than fly out with the others is also intriguing.

ABC’s earlier report on the deal never even mentions the mysterious hostage:

The first anyone had heard of Khosravi-Roodsari was when Barack Obama offered a terse mention of him in a prepared statement from the White House on Sunday:

Two other Americans unjustly detained by Iran have also been released — Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari and Matthew Trevithick, an Iranian — who was in Iran as a student. Their cases were largely unknown to the world. But when Americans are freed and reunited with their families, that’s something that we can all celebrate.

Trevithick’s case had been known, if not well-publicized, prior to his release. The Wall Street Journal can’t find anything on Khosravi-Roodsari even after the announcement, although State was a little more forthcoming with Felicia Schwartz:

Very little is known about Mr. Khosravi-Roodsari, whose family hadn’t come forward to speak about his release as of Sunday afternoon. It was unclear how long he was held in Iran or why he was arrested.

A State Department official said Mr. Khosravi-Roodsari was detained within the past year and the U.S. learned of his detention from Iranian authorities. “He is a U.S. citizen who was detained in Iran, and we were able to get him released,” the official said. “We have nothing further to add.”

Curious. Clearly, this isn’t someone who had a cover to blow; otherwise, the US government wouldn’t have let them stay behind. The mystery of Khorsavi-Roodsari may never get solved, especially since he appears willing to subject himself to arrest all over again rather than come home after the US bargained for his freedom. For his sake, here’s hoping he doesn’t need a second rescue, because the US probably won’t be much interested in providing one.

That time might come sooner rather than later. As soon as the hostages left Iranian air space, Obama slapped new sanctions on Iran for its ballistic-missile research:

Highlighting ongoing tensions between Washington and Tehran, however, the president announced new sanctions in response to two Iranian ballistic missile tests last year that violated international rules and sparked criticism of Obama’s approach to Iran at home.

The Treasury Department sanctioned 11 individuals and companies working to advance Iran’s ballistic missile program. The penalties were only announced after a plane carrying three of the Americans exited Iranian airspace on Sunday.

Perhaps the Iranians can comfort themselves from this massive slap with the $1,7 billion payment we made to the mullahs.


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Comments

He heard Obama was still President and decided to sit this one out…

Doc Holliday on January 18, 2016 at 8:04 PM

Trump would have done better. glad we put the sanctions back.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on January 18, 2016 at 8:11 PM

For the Iranians, Obama is like a massive ATM.

VorDaj on January 18, 2016 at 8:12 PM

He’s holding out for a better deal. He wants 25 Gitmo detainees and 3.7 billion paid to Iran for his release. He knows that some lives matter more than others.

they lie on January 18, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Doc Holliday on January 18, 2016 at 8:04 PM

Hahahaha

The Notorious G.O.P on January 18, 2016 at 8:14 PM

I also wonder how many of those released or pardoned in the U.S. will leave.

I’m guessing not all will.

Lolo on January 18, 2016 at 8:14 PM

I love a mystery. I wonder if there is any chance this could end up being an embarrassment to The Won? Fingers crossed!

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 8:18 PM

Valerie Jarretts long list uncle?

wolly4321 on January 18, 2016 at 8:19 PM

Maybe he heard it was an election year, so he preferred Iran. Especially since at one point it looked to be another Bush v. Clinton race.

rbj on January 18, 2016 at 8:20 PM

I love a mystery. I wonder if there is any chance this could end up being an embarrassment to The Won? Fingers crossed!

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 8:18 PM

No worries. Half the things he’s involved with so directly do end up as an embarrassment. And he just continues on his way, as would a cat that has just slid backwards off a coffee table and landed on its head.

Lolo on January 18, 2016 at 8:23 PM

Where is Congress on this? The Republican candidates? Are they all being blackmailed?

Brian in Titletown on January 18, 2016 at 8:26 PM

Dang. I saw the headline and the picture and I got all excited for a minute.

trigon on January 18, 2016 at 8:28 PM

Try releasing me from China and see how fast I get back to eating hot pot on Laoshan Road.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 8:30 PM

I love a mystery. I wonder if there is any chance this could end up being an embarrassment to The Won? Fingers crossed!

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 8:18 PM

Oh, forgot to mention. The real chance for embarrassment, I think, will come from all those guys released or not prosecuted domestically. Twenty one in all.

Lolo on January 18, 2016 at 8:31 PM

Clearly, this isn’t someone who had a cover to blow; otherwise, the US government wouldn’t have let them stay behind.

Possibly an Israeli spy. If I were in his place, I’d take my chances with a (relatively speaking) “moderate” ayatollah over whatever Obama had planned for me. Capture a Jew and Barack has a totally different view on water boarding.

Glenn Jericho on January 18, 2016 at 8:31 PM

Given the exhaustive efforts the United States expended to win his freedom, Khosravi-Roodsari’s decision to stay in Iran rather than fly out with the others is also intriguing.

Maybe Khosravi-Roodsari is another Bowe Bergdahl, who loves ayatollahs as much as Bergdahl loves the Taliban.

Steve Z on January 18, 2016 at 8:32 PM

Is it possibly conceivable that some people might prefer to live in places other than the US?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Is it possibly conceivable that some people might prefer to live in places other than the US?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Have you gone completely mad? That’s insane.

Rakshasa on January 18, 2016 at 8:36 PM

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 8:33 PM

So the U.S. and the country who imprisoned are his only choices? Odd.

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 8:38 PM

Do we get some of our money back…?

d1carter on January 18, 2016 at 8:38 PM

Uncle Omar? Aunt Zucchini?

viking01 on January 18, 2016 at 8:40 PM

Just wow..something ain’t right.

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:40 PM

Try releasing me from China and see how fast I get back to eating hot pot on Laoshan Road.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 8:30 PM

So … what’s your backstory? If you don’t mind my asking.

Former spy? Target of assassination by the US government? Chinese-Murican? Something else?

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 8:41 PM

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 8:41 PM

He’s just a trolling pro-China prick.

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:43 PM

Clearly the gormeh sabzi is much better in Tehran than in the US

Windsweeping on January 18, 2016 at 8:45 PM

Is it possibly conceivable that some people might prefer to live in places other than the US?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 8:33 PM

…those refugees piling into Europe…???…you’re not that bright, are you..??

Pelosi Schmelosi on January 18, 2016 at 8:46 PM

He’s just a trolling pro-China prick.

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:43 PM

I’d like to hear (see?) his side of things. :)

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 8:46 PM

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:43 PM

I’d like to hear (see?) his side of things. :)

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 8:46 PM

Have at it. I’ve known him for years and harm he has done on FB and leading it here to harm others here.

Be my guest.

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Have at it. I’ve known him for years and harm he has done on FB and leading it here to harm others here.

Be my guest.

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Wait, so you brought DarkCurrent to Hot Gas? o_O

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 8:51 PM

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Wait, so you brought DarkCurrent to Hot Gas? o_O

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 8:51 PM

No..go talk to him. I don’t.
enjoy

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:55 PM

Is it possibly conceivable that some people might prefer to live in places other than the US?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Now that Obama’s president and Valerie Jarret’s running the country? Yeah, me.

Cleombrotus on January 18, 2016 at 9:00 PM

Stockholm syndrome really really bad?

wolly4321 on January 18, 2016 at 9:09 PM

So … what’s your backstory? If you don’t mind my asking.

Former spy? Target of assassination by the US government? Chinese-Murican? Something else?

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 8:41 PM

My father was the first and only Dyna-Soar pilot ever launched into space. Except he didn’t quite make it to space. The first stage shut off early and had to be jettisoned.

He was thought lost, but glided down to Mongolia, where he met my mum.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 9:24 PM

Try releasing me from China and see how fast I get back to eating hot pot on Laoshan Road.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 8:30 PM

Would you feel the same way if you had been in a Chinese prison?

Barred on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 PM

He was thought lost, but glided down to Mongolia, where he met my mum.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 9:24 PM

She must not be Mongolian, they’re much hardier stock than you.

RickB on January 18, 2016 at 9:43 PM

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 9:24 PM

I am reading about the Dyna-Soar program now. Fascinating precursor to the Space Shuttle. Neil Armstrong was part of the crew.

nuclearoptional on January 18, 2016 at 9:56 PM

Khosravi-Roodsari may have elderly parents or other relatives still in Iran and fear he would never be allowed to return to see them if he left.

cam2 on January 18, 2016 at 10:16 PM

Certainly I have no knowledge in names and their origins, but I know how to look things up on the internet and can try to connect the dots. Here goes my guess as to who Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari might be.
Iranian, Persian and Muslim names are made up like most others with one or more given names and a surname or family name. The name Khosravi is not a usual surname or family name but is the name of a small town in Iran. Actual two different small towns both with populations under 500 and not more than about 40 family groups. My guess is that the Surname Roodsari might be a common family name in one of these small towns. If this is true then his name could read something like “Given Name” of the Family (Surname) from the (town of). I have spent some time finding people. I find that especially if the last name is a bit unusual that they are usually related in some manner. Relatives are often very willing to talk about relations that are be on the immediate family members. The Surname seems to associated with two different professions. Medical Doctors and Oil Executives. My guess would be if you real want to know who Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari is start with the oil people.

I will be the first to admit that I most likely am all wet here. If you think so don’t be nasty just ignore me.

jpcpt03 on January 18, 2016 at 10:20 PM

Would you feel the same way if you had been in a Chinese prison?

Barred on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 PM

Is a Chinese prison different from other prisons?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 10:38 PM

She must not be Mongolian, they’re much hardier stock than you.

RickB on January 18, 2016 at 9:43 PM

I’m the kind of stock Mongolian girls give everything up to :D

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 10:44 PM

Have at it. I’ve known him for years and harm he has done on FB and leading it here to harm others here.

Be my guest.

bazil9 on January 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Who are you guys talking about?

Pretty sure I don’t know either of you, so can’t be me. Still curious though.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 11:01 PM

One sentence in and already lies. When did we pay them

AmlissVess on January 19, 2016 at 2:29 AM

Well I’d bet that he is staying in Iran because he has family there. I doubt that he’s staying there to continue his special ops mission with the CIA or anything like that.

SoulGlo on January 19, 2016 at 3:53 AM

I’m the kind of stock Mongolian girls give everything up to :D

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2016 at 10:44 PM

Seen your picture, you’re quite the dreamboat, Chuckie.

Not a problem your government tells you how to impregnate or to read the state-written script as you’re gasping in the noxious smog.

But it’s all worthwhile when lip-synching chinadolls ride their yaks on the beach. . . .

Younggod on January 19, 2016 at 6:22 AM

Well I’d bet that he is staying in Iran because he has family there.
SoulGlo on January 19, 2016 at 3:53 AM

I agree. It’s called an expatriate. A person that choose to live in another country. Their are thousands of Americans living in expatriate communities around the world. Just think what even a meager retirement fund of say $4,000/ month would be like in a Country where the average ANNUAL income might be less then $500.

He dose not show up on internet searches because he may just not be a very important person. Some times a cigar is just a cigar.

jpcpt03 on January 19, 2016 at 7:04 AM

When I saw the headline and the picture, for a second I thought, Obama went to Iran? And he decided to stay? Allah be praised!! But then I opened the article and, no, Obama is still with us, and Allah is still the deity of a Satanic cult. Grr. Faster, please.

smellthecoffee on January 19, 2016 at 7:14 AM

Maybe e doesn’t exist at all and was only created to make it sound like we got a better deal than we really did?

Aslans Girl on January 19, 2016 at 7:34 AM

Younggod. “Lip-synching china dolls”?? More like “asian girls in tights”…..

Indiana Jim on January 19, 2016 at 9:06 AM

Valerie Jarretts long list uncle?

wolly4321 on January 18, 2016 at 8:19 PM

LOL. How many know that VJ was born in Iran? If anybody wonders what the Obama obsession with this horrendous Iran deal-making is about they need look no further than at America’s real POTUS.

MJBrutus on January 19, 2016 at 9:11 AM

Dark Current, you magnificent [email protected]@rd….i saw your picture.

Indiana Jim on January 19, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Two other Americans unjustly detained by Iran have also been released — Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari and Matthew Trevithick, an Iranian

I’m sorry, but one of those is not true. Period. He is either an American or an Iranian.

I’m all for rescuing Americans (but not paying ransom for them), though I’m less enamored of doing so when they willingly go into a hostile country about which they have been warned. (Personal responsibility, suffering consequences, all that conservative stuff.)
I do not think we should EVER go rescue an “American” who travels on a foreign passport into that country and becomes a captive. I’m sorry, but NOW you’re an American? Seems you weren’t an American when you crossed their border. Too bad, you made your call when you used that other passport (thereby, claiming allegiance to that country and renouncing your American one) – call them to rescue you, it’s not our job.

GWB on January 19, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Jason Rezaian is a total ass. Kinda wish they’d kept him.

WhirledPeas on January 19, 2016 at 11:36 AM

though I’m less enamored of doing so when they willingly go into a hostile country about which they have been warned.

GWB on January 19, 2016 at 10:14 AM

How else will they be able to write their blockbuster, best-sellers?

(Yes, I am that cynical).

WhirledPeas on January 19, 2016 at 11:41 AM

so did Khosravi-Roodsari personally tell the US that he did not want to leave Iran, or did his captors say “Oh, he says he doesn’t want to go”, and Kerry said “OK, tell him he can stay.”

AverageJoe on January 19, 2016 at 11:56 AM