In addition to Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and pastor Saeed Abedini, Iran also announced the release today of Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari. Bafflingly, Khosravi-Roodsari’s imprisonment seems not to have been previously reported.
The Associated Press reports that Khosravi-Roodsari’s name “had not been previously made public.” In some reports, his name is spelled “Nosratollah Khosrawi-Roodsari.”
Obama administration officials refused to offer any clues about Khosravi-Roodsari’s background, why he was in Iran, or why he had been imprisoned, citing privacy laws.
Khosravi-Roodsari’s name doesn’t appear in any news articles published before Saturday. He’s practically a ghost on public records searches—and phone listings tied to his name are disconnected. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer noted on air that he had no idea who the man was, despite covering the story for months.
U.S. officials said that Khosravi-Roodsari—has only been described as a “businessman”—was detained sometime in the past year, Robin Wright reports for the New Yorker. “The United States was not even aware that he had been detained until it received a diplomatic note about him from the Iranians during the negotiations.”