An American man who says he has been in contact with the Iranian government has told a Turkish newspaper that Iran is preparing to send his family to the US to live with him and his family.
In an interview published on Sunday in the semi-official Mehr news agency, Khaled Mohammad Zohra said he had spoken to an Iranian embassy official in Istanbul on Friday and confirmed that the embassy was ready to send the family to live in the US with him.
Zohra, who lives in Pennsylvania, said he and his wife and two children were set to fly from Turkey to the United States next week, but had to delay the trip after the US Embassy in Tehran declined to take the family.
The Iranian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Zahra told Mehr he had been in communication with Iran’s ambassador to Turkey, who was said to have told him the family would be allowed to travel to the city of Istanbul from Turkey if it paid the fees of $2,500 (US$1,300) and the cost of airfare.
“The embassy official has told me that Iran’s embassy will take care of the travel, and if the Iranian family wants to live together, they will be welcomed in the United Nations or in a hotel, according to the embassy official,” Zohrab said.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has warned that Iran will respond to any US action by sending a “mortal blow” to Washington.
Zehra told the Turkish daily that he had previously met the Iranian ambassador to the Turkish capital, where he said he would have liked to have been granted asylum.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.