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Brother of Jason Rezaian, Washington Post reporter detained in Iran, urges more US action

The brother of American journalist Jason Rezaian urged U.S. officials to do more to secure his release from a jail in Iran.
/ Source: TODAY

As Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian begins his second year behind bars in Iran, his brother urged The White House and other top U.S. officials to do more to secure his release.

"You know, I don't think that anybody's done enough until he's out,” Ali Rezaian said Wednesday in an interview with NBC News.

While the U.S. struck a historic deal with Iran over nuclear weapons last week, those negotiations did not secure the release of Jason Rezaian and three other Americans believed to be detained in Iran.

During a press conference last week on the nuclear deal, President Obama said that "nobody is content" over the four U.S. detainees in Iran. Earlier this week, Obama said that the U.S. is still pursuing the release of those being held.

"We are not going to relent until we bring home our Americans who are unjustly detained in Iran," he said Tuesday in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Pittsburgh.

But the president continues to be under pressure for not applying more pressure to Iran.

Jason Rezaian, who was arrested in July 2014, went to Iran more than a decade ago to produce a documentary about the country where his father was born. He eventually landed a job as the Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief and married an Iranian woman.

Since his arrest, his brother said, Rezaian has spent at least five months in solitary confinement and has been interrogated constantly.

“I know that they asked him a lot about his emails. They asked him about people that he knew, friends that he had,” Ali said. “They asked him about everybody who came to dinner at his house.”

Exactly what Rezaian is being accused of is uncertain, though Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that Rezaian went on trail for espionage charges in May.

“They have several different charges against him, one of which is espionage. One is propaganda,” his brother said.

The Washington Post, meanwhile, continues to sand firmly behind him.

“An entire year, of course, now has passed and not one shred of evidence has been produced,” said the Post’s executive editor Martin Baron. “He was just a reporter doing his job and doing his job well and doing it fairly.”

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.