Iranian American Siamak Namazi returns to prison in Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Iranian American businessman Siamak Namazi was forced to return to Tehran's Evin prison on Wednesday after Iranian authorities had given him a furlough on Oct. 1 and let his elderly father leave Iran for medical treatment on Oct. 5, their lawyer said.

Namazi, who in 2016 was convicted of espionage-related charges that the United States has rejected as baseless, on Thursday will mark seven years since his arrest and detention in Iran, a lawyer for the family, Jared Genser, said in a statement.

"Yesterday, members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) informed Siamak .. that his furlough would not be extended further, without providing any explanation," Genser said, saying the furlough was renewed once on Oct. 8. "Late this morning (Tehran time), Siamak was taken back into custody by the IRGC and forced to return to Evin Prison."

Iranian Americans, whose U.S. citizenship is not recognized by Tehran, are often pawns between the two nations, now at odds over whether to revive a fraying 2015 pact under which Iran limited its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

In addition to Namazi, other U.S. citizens detained in Iran include environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, 67, who also has British nationality, and businessman Emad Shargi, 58.

The Iranian mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Namazi's case.

(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Mark Porter and Sandra Maler)