US Confirms Prisoner Swap with Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A US official announced on Saturday that Iran has released four US-Iranian dual citizens within a prisoner swap, and Washington has reciprocally freed 7 Iranian prisoners and dismissed charges against 14 other Iranian nationals previously put on the red notice list.
“Through a diplomatic channel that was established with the focus of getting our detained US citizens home, we can confirm Iran has released from imprisonment four Americans detained in Iran,” a US official confirmed.
“Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, Jason Rezaian, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari” were mentioned by the source as the prisoners released by Iran.
The US official further noted that “Iran has also committed to continue cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson.”
“We offered clemency to seven Iranians, six of whom are dual US-Iranian citizens, who had been convicted or are pending trial in the United States,” the source added.
The official also noted that the United States has also “removed any Interpol red notices and dismissed any charges against 14 Iranians for whom it was assessed that extradition requests were unlikely to be successful.”
The remarks came after Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, the prosecutor-general of Tehran, announced earlier in the day that the four prisoners with dual citizenship have been released based on a decision by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council within the framework of prisoner swap.
He told reporters that the decision to release the prisoners has been taken based on the country’s general interests.
The release comes as implementation of the nuclear deal finalized by Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) back in July 2015 is slated to begin in a few hours.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini are expected to announce today as the “implementation day” of the deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Zarif and Mogherini will make a joint statement on the issue.
When the JCPOA takes effect, all nuclear-related anti-Iran sanctions will be removed.