Authorities in Iran have denied that an American-Iranian dual national died at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison on Saturday due to a lack of medical care.
A source told BBC Persian that Faramarz Javidzad, 60, was taken to hospital after he suffered stomach bleeding but was later returned to the prison.
Officials declined to move him from the prison clinic after his blood pressure dropped severely on Friday, they said.
The US said it was aware of the death of an individual in an Iranian prison.
The news comes a week after Iran released five other American-Iranians as part of a prisoner swap.
The Iranian judiciary’s Mizan news agency cited Tehran province’s prisons department as saying on Monday that Mr Javidzad had been detained for two months at Evin on various financial charges, and that he was treated five times for digestive problems during that time.
He recently underwent a stomach operation and was then discharged from hospital “at his own insistence”, it added.
The prisons department said Mr Javidzad was immediately transferred to hospital when his condition worsened on Saturday. Doctors and nurses administered CPR, but his life could not be saved, it added.
However, the account was contradicted by the source who spoke to BBC Persian’s Ali Kheradpir.
They said Mr Javidzad was put on a drip at the prison’s clinic on Friday after his blood pressure dropped, even though a judge had given prison authorities permission to transfer him to hospital.
That night, a nurse at the clinic informed him that they were “sleepy” and removed the drip, they added.
On Saturday, Mr Javidzad’s condition worsened and he died while awaiting transfer to hospital, the source added.
A spokesperson for the US state department told BBC News: “We are aware of reports of the death of an individual in an Iranian prison and are seeking additional information.”
“Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment at this time.”
BBC Persian reported that the state department had not designated Mr Javidzad as “wrongfully detained” by Iran, which meant he was not included in last week’s prisoner exchange.
It saw Iran free five American-Iranian dual nationals, who the US said had been imprisoned on baseless charges for political leverage.
In return, the US granted clemency to five Iranians imprisoned in US jails and allowed $6bn (£4.8bn) of frozen Iranian funds held in South Korea to be transferred to banks in Qatar for humanitarian purchases.
Source : BBC