(NewsNation) — The Biden administration is getting backlash after announcing it struck a deal with Iran to swap prisoners and release $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds.
Those expressing outrage include the family of Jamshid Sharmahd, a prisoner who was not included in the deal. The German-Iranian, who also has U.S. residency, was kidnapped in Dubai in 2020 by the Iranian regime and sentenced to death this year on charges of “corruption of Earth.”
He was convicted of heading a pro-monarchist group accused of a deadly 2008 bombing.
Sharmahd’s daughter Giselle has been fighting for his release for the past 3 1/2 years and questioned why the White House is “cherry picking” cases for prisoner swaps, and on what criteria.
“How do we decide? Does the president just look at the cases and pick five of them that he likes or that are the easiest? Why are we not bringing my dad back right now?” she said Tuesday on “CUOMO.” “My dad is right now … in a kangaroo court in the Islamic regime.”
Last month, U.S. Special Envoy to Iran Abram Paley met with Sharmahd’s family.
“He should have never been detained in Iran, and we hope to see the day he is reunited with his loved ones,” Paley said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Three days later, Iran’s foreign ministry office said the U.S. should explain its links to Sharmahd.
Jason Poblete, an attorney for the Sharmahd family, argued Congress should have put the deal “on ice” until the government secured the release of all U.S. prisoners in Iran.
“I’m very happy that people are getting out … but in some of these cases, they’ve known about them for quite some time, and they are cherry picking cases, and we’re very concerned about that,” Poblete said.
Reuters contributed to this story.