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Post: USA and Iran exchange prisoners


The United States and Iran agreed to release five detained citizens of the other country. US citizens have already departed for Qatar.

The prisoner exchange, which has been planned for months between the USA and Iran, will take place this Monday. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani announced this change to journalists.

The release of frozen Iranian assets from South Korea paved the way for the deal. US citizens are currently on their way to stop in Qatar.

According to the two countries’ plans, five Americans will return to the United States. In return, the United States pardoned five Iranians convicted or indicted there. The prisoner exchange had been prepared for months. Gulf countries Oman and Qatar played a particularly important role in the negotiations.

US representative confirms departure

A plane with five US citizens on board departed from Iran to Qatar this Monday.

According to information obtained by the AFP news agency from informed sources in Doha, “A Qatari plane carrying five prisoners and two relatives took off accompanied by the Qatari ambassador.” A senior US official confirmed the plane’s departure.

Americans were already able to leave the country

In early August, Iran placed the released Americans under house arrest in a hotel in the capital Tehran. They can now leave the country.

One of the most well-known of these is businessman Siamak Namasi, who has both American and Iranian citizenship. He was imprisoned in 2015 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage. In 2018, environmentalist Morad Tahbas and businessman Emad Shargi were arrested. The identities of the other two Americans released are unknown.

Two Iranians want to stay in the US

According to information from Tehran, the American judiciary will release five Iranians convicted within the scope of the agreement. According to news reports in the US, they are said to be trying to get around international sanctions, among other things. An Iranian was also charged with industrial espionage. Another is said to violate a law requiring “foreign representatives” to register in the United States.

Two men will return to their homeland, while another will fly to a third country, according to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two Iranians want to stay in the United States.

Pence: “Largest ransom payment in American history”

According to Tehran and Washington, the money that Iran now supposedly has access to was converted into euros by South Korea in several tranches and transferred to Qatar. The Islamic Republic should be able to use assets to purchase goods under supervision, unaffected by international sanctions. Iran’s global payment transactions were suspended due to punitive measures. According to Kanaani, the money reached Qatar.

The agreement made with Tehran had received a lot of criticism before. Former US Vice President Mike Pence, for example, called the agreement “the largest ransom payment in American history.” Critics have warned that Tehran could use billions of dollars for military purposes.

US government defends prisoner exchange

The U.S. government has sought to allay such concerns in recent weeks. He has repeatedly emphasized that billions of dollars can only be used for humanitarian purposes, for example, for medicine or food. This is not a ransom or money from US taxpayers; It is Iranian money that should only benefit the Iranian people, not the Iranian leadership.

The US side had previously rejected Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi’s claims that the money should flow to other areas such as domestic production.

Source: ZDF

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