Iran became six billion dollars richer on Monday after the United States paid the ransom and released five Iranian prisoners to rescue five hostages being held by Tehran.
The US citizens were embraced by American diplomats as they disembarked from a Qatari jet that flew the five hostages and two of their relatives from Tehran – once confirmation was received that the $6 billion was transferred from South Korea to Qatari accounts, to be accessed by Iran.
The freed hostages, due to fly home to the United States from Doha, included dual citizens Siamak Namazi, 51, and Emad Sharqi, 59, both businessmen, and Morad Tahbaz, 67, an environmentalist who also holds British nationality. The identities of the fourth and fifth US citizens were not disclosed at their request, Reuters reported.
Two of the five Iranians arrived in Doha; three others “opted not to return to Iran,” according to Reuters.
“Today, five innocent Americans who were imprisoned in Iran are finally coming home,” President Joe Biden proudly announced in a statement. He left out the part about paying billions of dollars and freeing prisoners to redeem the hostages, but thanked the governments of Qatar, Oman, Switzerland and South Korea for their assistance in facilitating the exchange.
Former President Donald Trump blasted Biden over the deal.
“I brought 58 HOSTAGES home from many different countries, including North Korea, and I never paid anything,” Trump wrote in a pointed post on his Truth Social platform.
“They all understood they MUST LET THESE PEOPLE COME HOME! Toward the end, it got so that countries didn’t even start the conversation asking for money, because they knew they would not get it.
“Once you pay, you always pay, & MANY MORE HOSTAGES WILL BE TAKEN,” Trump warned. “Our grossly incompetent ‘leader,’ Crooked Joe Biden, gave 6 BILLION DOLLARS for 5 people. Iran gave ZERO for 5. He’s Dumb as a ROCK!”