In September of 2012, two black events mar the Hekmati family’s life. 
Amir’s father Ali Hekmati gets diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. This represents further damage to an already suffering family.
Then-President Ahmadinejad makes it worse when, during a visit to the UN, he denies any knowledge of Amir’s case. This seems quite unlikely to be true, as it was covered extensively by Iranian state media outlets, and is one of the major issues between our two nations. 

What’s more likely is that it was a measured response designed to either avoid a confrontation in the States, or to in some way improve the calculus of the situation for Tehran. 

Any way you add it up, it is another blow to the Hekmati family