“Today, five innocent Americans imprisoned in Iran finally returned to their homeland,” President Joe Biden said in a statement after their arrival in Doha.
The US ambassador to Qatar, Timmy Davis, was at the site, who greeted the former prisoners with a hug when they got off the plane. In a statement, one of the men, Siamak Namazi, thanked President Biden and everyone who helped make the exchange finally happen.
“I would not be free today if you all had not allowed the world to forget me,” says Namazi.
Namazi was arrested in 2015 and later sentenced to ten years in prison on espionage charges. According to the United States, all five Americans were imprisoned on false grounds.
Six billion dollars
The release of the five is part of a broader agreement between the United States and Iran.
The agreement means the release of the five Americans in exchange for Iran receiving the equivalent of about 66 billion Swedish krona. In addition, Biden pardoned five Iranians and released them from prison in the United States. According to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani, two of them will remain in the United States.
All of the Iranians were convicted of attempting to share and export classified materials from the United States to Iran, such as electronics and equipment intended for the military.
In the afternoon, two of them landed in Qatar.
In the same context, the American side announced the imposition of new sanctions on the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Money for humanitarian goods
Nearly $6 billion in Iranian assets are frozen to purchase oil stored in South Korean accounts.
Central Bank of Iran Governor Mohammad Reza Farzin confirmed on state television on Monday that the bank had received $5.9 billion.
According to the United States, the money can only be used for humanitarian goods such as medicine and food. Iranian government officials have largely agreed, although some have argued that there are no restrictions on how the funds can be used.
“Falls down a lot. Internet fanatic. Proud analyst. Creator. Wannabe music lover. Introvert. Tv aficionado.”