As the families of Americans celebrate the release of their loved ones held in Iran, the authorities in Tehran said they would not be freeing a businessman arrested in October and were silent on the fate of a former FBI agent who disappeared in the country.

It was unclear why Siamak Namazi, 44, an Iranian American based in Dubai, was arrested in October while visiting a friend in Tehran where he had done consultant work over the previous decade. Namazi is the son of a prominent family in Tehran who couldn’t be reached. Namazi immigrated to the United States in 1983, and he later returned to Iran after graduating from college to serve in the Iranian military.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” said Ahmad Kiarostami, a friend. “I’m still hopeful he’s going to be released in the next few days. That’s what I hope.”

Kiarostami said he had traded Facebook messages with Namazi’s family in Iran, but they didn’t know anything.

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