N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Nicole: [in the American Interest Section of the Swiss Embassy] My name is Nicole Adjamian.
Betty: Yes. Betty Mahmoody. This is my daughter, Mahtob.
Nicole: Please do sit.
[They all sit down]
Betty: Thank you. We're so glad to see you. I spoke with my mother in the United States and I know that the State Department is into this. We're just very happy to be here. We'll sleep anywhere for as long as it takes until you can get us out.
Nicole: [confused] What are you talking about? You cannot stay here.
Betty: I can't go back to my husband. I want to go home to the United States.
Nicole: That may be, but you are in Iran. You are married to an Iranian?
Betty: Yes.
Nicole: Then you are an Iranian citizen.
Betty: No. No I'm not. I'm an American citizen and my daughter is an American citizen. We were born in the United States. We have American passports. I mean, we don't have them with us. My husband has them. We've never changed our citizenship.
Nicole: If you marry an Iranian man, you automatically become an Iranian citizen. The laws regarding women are very strict. You cannot travel anywhere without written permission. You have no rights to the children. They go to the man in a divorce. I'm sorry, but you will have to go back to your husband.
Betty: [on the verge of tears] But we'll never get out of Iran. We're being held hostage. It was almost impossible to come here.
Nicole: Mrs. Mahmoody, there are many American women here in similar cir****stances. [pauses] May I ask you why you came to Iran?
Betty: [pauses] I don't know. I don't know. I was afraid to come. [sniffles] I wanted to please him. I trusted him. I was frightened to come, but I never thought this would happen. I thought of him as an American. He's changed. Oh God, he's changed.
Nicole: Look, Mrs. Mahmoody. Many came back after the Revolution feeling guilty about being away, about turning their backs on Iran and on Islam. Now Iran is an Islamic State and that's a wonderful thing for many Iranians. Well, if there is anything I can do, maybe if you need to organize telephone calls to the U.S. or if you want to write letters home, let me know.

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