News

Law & the Courts

U.S. Judge Orders Iran to Pay $180 Million in Damages to Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian and His Family

(Carlos Jasso/Reuters)

Iran must pay $180 million in damages to Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian — who was imprisoned in the country for eighteen months — and his family, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

Rezaian had travelled to the country while he was the Post‘s senior Iran correspondent, and was detained with his newlywed wife in July 2014. While his wife was released after two months, both were threatened with execution, physical mutilation and dismemberment and placed in solitary confinement.

Rezaian’s confinement came as the Obama administration was trying to negotiate a deal that would see Iran end its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. Rezaian was released in a prisoner swap on January 16, 2016, the same day the nuclear deal was implemented. The Wall Street Journal later revealed that the Obama administration had also delivered $400 million in cash to Iran, reportedly on that same day.

“Holding a man hostage and torturing him to gain leverage in negotiations with the United States is outrageous, deserving of punishment, and surely in need of deterrence,” wrote U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon in his opinion in the case.

Rezaian’s attorney David Bowker had argued that the reporter was “irreparably injured” and held as a bargaining chip to trade him “for concessions by the United States.” Bowker told the Post that Rezaian’s family had originally sought $1 billion in punitive damages to compel Iran “to recalculate the costs and benefits” of taking hostages.

President Trump has since revoked the nuclear deal made by Obama, and has imposed economic sanctions on the country.

Currently, Iran is in the midst of protests that started when the government announced a rise in the price of gasoline, but have since turned against banks and regime security forces. Scores of protesters have been killed by security forces according to Amnesty International, and the Iranian government has almost completely shut off internet access across the country.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More