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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Get ready for a lot more State Dept. travel warnings

The State Department this week updated its travel warning on Iran “to reiterate and highlight the risk of arrest and detention of US citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans.” Well, duh.
Since releasing four Americans in January, Tehran has taken several new Western hostages, all with dual Iranian citizenship. As the warning notes, the regime “unjustly” imprisons “students, journalists, business travelers and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security.”
Thing is, Iran’s been doing this for years. That’s why it had four Iranian-Americans to trade for President Obama’s non-ransom ransom — you know, that $400 million cash payment that wasn’t handed over until the freed hostages’ plane had taken off, plus $1.3 billion more transferred about the same time.
You can see why the Iranians quickly started re-stocking their hostage larder; free money is awfully attractive.
But Tehran may not remain the only hostage-taker: Now that the whole word knows Uncle Sam will pay so richly to recover captive Americans, State better get ready to issue warnings about the risks of being taken hostage in other countries, too.