Shaul Bakhash: Md. bank freezes funds of historian over controversy involving his wifeHistorians in the News
In the letter, Citibank said the accounts had been frozen "in accordance with U.S. Sanctions regulations," which stipulate that U.S. banks are prohibited from servicing accounts for residents of Iran.
So began a stressful process of inquiries and appeals for help -- to the bank, financial contacts, the State Department and the press -- to finally reach a resolution.
Bakhash, a historian at George Mason University, quickly learned that his two Citibank accounts had also been closed, even though he has not visited Iran since 1980. Bakhash and Esfandiari are both U.S. citizens, but Esfandiari has maintained her Iranian passport so she can visit her family in Tehran twice a year. She was on a 10-day visit to see her 93-year-old mother when she was put under virtual house arrest for four months, after which she was jailed in Tehran's Evin Prison on May 8. Iran charged her this week with espionage and endangering national security.
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