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Tuesday, April 2, 2019 +1.703.566.3037

Son of Hostage in Iran Meets Secretary Pompeo

Zakka Family Appreciates Continued Support Of The U.S. Government

Mr. Nizar Zakka is a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident and U.S.-based ICT professional
who has been held hostage in Iran since September 18, 2015. Mr. Omar Zakka, the youngest son
of Mr. Nizar Zakka, who last month testified before Congress a second time about his father’s
case, was at the State Department today for meetings with senior U.S. officials including
Secretary of State of Mike Pompeo.

“​On behalf of my father and the rest of the Zakka family, I thanked Secretary Pompeo and his
team for what they are doing to help bring my dad home. I am confident if Lebanon were to fully help the
United States, my father would be home. Lebanon and all parties in a position to do so should follow the
example of the Trump administration and help my father​,” Omar said.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo delivered remarks at the Department of State to

families of American citizens and U.S Legal Permanent residents held captive abroad. When
Secretary Pompeo served in the U.S. Congress, he delivered remarks about Nizar on the House
floor. F
​ ollow this l​ ink​ for the video of Secretary Pompeo’s remarks to the media. Follow this
link​ for Omar’s testimony to the Congress last month.

Mr. Zakka was in Iran at the invitation of the Iranian government, a guest of the former
Vice President Shahindokht Molaverdi. Upon information and belief, Mr. Zakka was
unlawfully detained and kidnapped on September 18, 2015, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Corps (IRGC); and it is probable Mr. Zakka’s abduction was orchestrated to coincide on or
about September 17, the last day of the U.S. Congressional review period of the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

On September 14, 2018, almost three years to the day of Mr. Zakka’s kidnapping, Vice
President Molaverdi told the Associated Press Iran has “​failed​” to help a U.S. permanent
resident imprisoned over spying allegations that she personally invited to the country for a
conference.” Molaverdi added, “​[w]e did all we could to stop this from happening, but we are seeing
that we have failed to make a significant impact.​”

“​Omar and the rest of the Zakka have tirelessly advocated for Nizar and will continue to do so
until Nizar is released. Nizar’s case and others like it are an international problem that requires
multilateral cooperation, especially from nations in a position to help such as Lebanon.​ Lebanese
officials must do more to help the United States because they have not done so.​ With political
will it’s possible to bring Nizar home soon​,” said Jason Poblete, Mr. Nizar Zakka’s attorney in the
United States.



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