61-Year-Old Doctor, Born In The US, loses US Citizenship

A 61-year-old Virginia doctor, born in the US, has been stripped of his US citizenship, according to the WashingtonPost.

Siavash Sobhani became stateless when he tried to renew his passport in June this year. Officials told him he should never have been granted U.S. citizenship in 1960, because of his late father’s status as an Iranian diplomat at the time of his birth.

The State Department informed him that babies born in the US to parents with diplomatic immunity – which his father enjoyed at the time as an employee of the Iranian embassy – should not automatically acquire citizenship.
Normally, all babies born in the US are given citizenship.
The State Department’s move comes despite the fact that Sobhani is a respected physician with an impressive roster of 3,000 active patients after earning degrees from George Washington University, Boston College and Georgetown Medical School.

He has lived in the US (Virginia and DC) all his life, except for a small part of his childhood when his family moved to Turkey. His brother Rob Sobhani, 63, even ran for Senate in Maryland in 2012.
Sobhani has lived in the US (Virginia and DC) all his life, apart from a small part of his childhood when his family moved to Turkey

Sobhani is sad that he cannot live safely in Iran because of his brother’s political ties to the US, and because he himself has spoken out against the government.

A letter from a State Department official informed him that he should not have been granted citizenship at the time of his birth because his father was a diplomat with the Embassy of Iran. The letter directed Sobhani to a website where he could apply for lawful permanent residence.

The letter stripping him of his US citizenship partly reads:
“As a member of your parents’ household, you also enjoyed full diplomatic immunity from the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of your birth,” said a State Department letter to Sobhani, seen by the Post.
“As such, you were born outside the jurisdiction of the United States. So you did not acquire American citizenship at birth.”

Sobhani was shocked by the letter – and the shock message prompted him to dig into his family history. He said this has been a challenge as his father is dead and his mother has dementia.
Sobhani soon discovered, however, that his older brother, who was born in Kansas when their father was a military student, had an illness as an infant that required surgery.
Due to his need for medical care, their father was given a temporary job at the Iranian Embassy to extend their stay in the US until October and November 1961 – the month Sobhani was born at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
They lived in Turkey for several years until returning to DC, where Sobhani attended Georgetown Preparatory School.
Sobhani has written letters to Virginia Senator Mark R Warner and Rep. Gerald E Connolly asking them for help.
His letter said he has “the utmost respect for the laws that govern this country” and noted that he has dedicated his career to helping people in Virginia and the D.C. region.