The United States State Department has issued a travel advisory for Americans travelling abroad:
This replaces the Travel Warning for Iran dated March 14, 2016, to reiterate and highlight the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans. Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and Western countries including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran. U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel. U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country.
Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. citizens, particularly Iranian-Americans, including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Iranian authorities have also prevented the departure, in some cases for months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons. U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel.
This travel advisory is oddly specific about Iran’s practice of abducting Americans (specifically of Iranian descent) and holding them on trumped-up charges. In other words: Hostage taking.
Why would a criminal regime like Iran take hostages? Logic suggests that the evil practice would be so that they could gain something from America. You know, the same way the Taliban kept alleged deserter Bowe Bergdahl in captivity and did not release him until five senior Taliban terrorists were released from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Of course, it makes no sense for Iran to want to abduct innocent Americans and hold them in return for some sort of international concessions or even cash payments from America. After all, we don’t pay ransom for hostages.
Oh… wait a second…