Five American prisoners left Iran on Monday in exchange for five Iranians held in the United States as part of an unusual deal brokered by Qatar between the arch-enemies that also resulted in the release of $6 billion in Tehran funds.
A Qatari plane took off from Tehran and carried the five with two of their relatives. Shortly after the US and Iran received confirmation that the funds had been transferred to accounts in Doha, A source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Iran’s Press Television said two of the five Iranians set to be released as part of the swap had landed in Doha. There was no independent confirmation, although Iranian officials indicated that three of those to be released by the US would not return to Iran.
The release of funds was triggered An exchange sequence agreed after months of talks between Washington and Tehran that saw clashes over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and other issues.
The five Americans with dual citizenship are expected to do so They fly to Doha and then to the USA. “They are in good health,” said an Iranian official briefed on the incident..
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani He said two of the released Iranians would return to Iran, while two others would remain in the United States at their request.. One of the detainees will be reunited with his family in a third country, he added.
Kanaani said the funds, blocked in South Korea after U.S. sanctions tightened against Iran in 2018, would be available to Tehran on Monday. According to the agreement, Qatar will ensure the money is spent on humanitarian goods and not items subject to US sanctions.
The money transfer to Iran has been criticized by US Republicans who say President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is effectively paying a ransom for American citizens. The White House defended the agreement.