BY MATTHEW TREVITHICK
One of the five Americans released this month from Iran’s Evin Prison describes his interrogations, freedom and the mind games in between.
Matthew Trevithick grew up in Boston and traveled overseas in 2008 after earning a degree in International Relations. He visited Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel, lived in northern Iraq, and spent four years in Afghanistan, working at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. In 2010, he visited Iran as a tourist. “I don’t usually drink the Kool-Aid,” he says, “but I was just absorbing this aura: This is a country we need to know more about.” The day after he left Iran, he began applying to study Farsi in Tehran, the capital. Five years later, in 2015, and one week after Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal, a new visa to return finally came through. This is his account, as told to TIME’s Andrew Katz and Karl Vick.