Jason Resign, Iran, Joel Simon discussed on Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter
I'm your host, Brian Stelter. And I'm joined by Jason resign. And Joel Simon the authors of two new books. Joe's book is we want to negotiate the secret world of kidnapping, hostages and ransom. It's out from Columbia global reports. Jason's book is prisoner. It's about his experience as the Washington Post say. Tehran bureau chief being held behind bars for nearly a year and a half in Iran. Let's talk a little bit more about the reasons why these books are such a great companions. You know, we were talking Jason about you know, like to be in your shoes. And not know what's going on outside the efforts to try to get you freed Joel from your perspective. What's it like in your shoes? When you're advocating for journalists trying to get them out of jail. And you know, they don't know what's going on. Well, I don't know. I mean, that's that's one of the things is sometimes it's I I hope they do know. And I hope you don't. But somehow we're gets to them and this applies the hostage situations as well because the negotiation process, you know, there's usually one hostages are taken. There's usually a proof of life. So you know, that's a signal to the hostage that negotiations underway. And I wanna I wanna pick up on something that Jason said he talked about. There was a moment. What he realized that he had value to his captors in any hostage situation. Whether whether it's a traditional hostage situation involving the terror organization or state hostage is the value of the hostage that keeps them alive. And it is the only point of consensus between the people holding the hostage and the people trying to win the hostages release. Because if they're not alive, they have no value. And so one of the things I look at it in the book is what is what is the most strategic way to affirm. The value of the hostage, which is what fact what keeps them alive? And declaring that you will not negotiate that you will not make concessions completely undermines the value, the hostage and actually increases the risks to the hostage, which is one of the reasons why one of things I looked in my books. I looked at the data and. If you look at European governments, which traditionally do pay ransom know, most of their hostages, come home, the vast majority, and if you look at Americans who are held hostage where we don't negotiate and we don't pay ransom about twenty five percent of American hostages taken rance taken hostage by terror groups die. So the question is were sacrificing lives. What are we getting in return? And this case with you Jason again, not a terrorist group, although people use all sorts of words, label Iran, we're talking about a country that had taken prisoner. There was a monetary exchange. This four hundred million dollars that was paid tell us about it. Tell us about the context of it. And and how it's viewed visa vs your release. Well, look, I mean, I think that a lot of people have used this as a talking point over the last three years and changed since I was I was released because it's a large amount of money. And it was interesting in the fact that it was cash. But you know, I've I've dug deep into that whole process as we all know there were negotiations going on between Iran and world powers most specifically the United States, and you know, part of the deal was for Iran to to shut down key aspects of their Tomic program in exchange for lifting of sanctions another aspect of that was. A prisoner. Swap of Iranians who were being held in American prisons on sanctions related violations in exchange for myself and other Americans. And then the third piece of the puzzle was was this money that was Iran's money that had been seized by the US government after the revolution. It was a down payment that the Shah had made on a weapons deal, and it was being deliberated in international courts. There's there's a there's an actual tribunal set up to deal with complaints between the US and Iran because there's no diplomatic relations. That court was set to to make a decision in Iran's favor. And it was going to be to the tune of seven several billion dollars and US negotiators decided. Well, let's let's you know. Minimize the cost and closed that deal because they were going to have to close that deal, regardless..