Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmat and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, four dual US-Iranian citizens were released from an Iranian jail on Saturday by Iran in an apparent prisoner exchange with the United States.
Jason Rezaian is an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post. He was convicted of espionage in a closed-door trial in Iran in 2015.
The four were transported to Switzerland, and will then continue on to to a US base in Germany.
A fifth American citizen, Matthew Trevithick, was released in a separate deal.
Former FBI agent Robert “Bob” Levinson was not released.
In exchange, the US will offer clemency to 7 Iranian prisoners, 6 of them who hold dual US-Iranian citizenship: Nader Modanlou, Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afqahi, Arash Ghahreman, Touraj Faridi, Nima Golestaneh and Ali Sabounchi.
The Obama administration also delayed a series of sanctions that were supposed to be imposed on Iran, after Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the sanctions would derail the prisoner exchange, according to an Haaretz report.
FARS reports that part of the deal includes US dropping its charges against 14 Iranians for trying to transfer arms to Iran: Saeed Jamili, Jalal Salami, Matin Sadeqi, Alireza Moazzemi Goudarzi, Mohammad Abbas Mohammadi, Kourosh Taherkhani, Sajjad Farhadi, Seyed Ahmad Abtahi, Gholamreza Mahmoudi, Hamid Arabnejad, Ali Moattar, Mohammad Ali She’rbaf, Amin Ravan and Behrouz Dolatzadeh.
Dropping the charges, will apparently allow them to travel freely outside of Iran without fear of arrest via Interpol or setting off warning flags, according to a Politico report.
FARS originally also reported that the US will also demand Interpol end its investigations of Iranian involvement in the bombing of the Jewish Center in Argentina, but that has subsequently been removed from their website.
Jewish Press News Briefs