The Biden Administration has allegedly secured a deal to free five Americans imprisoned in Iran, in exchange for three Iranian prisoners as well as a payment of $6 billion to the Islamic nation.
As reported by Fox News, the prisoner swap will include the unfreezing of $6 billion worth of Iranian assets in South Korea, with the funds to be transferred to a central bank account in Qatar. The American prisoners have been accused by Iran of being spies, while the Iranian prisoners violated American sanctions on Iran.
Of the five American prisoners, three have had their names publicly released: Siamak Namazi, Emad Sharghi, and Morad Tahbaz. The other two names have been withheld at the request of the families over privacy concerns; however, one of them is rumored to be a businessman while the other is a scientist.
The three Iranian prisoners had all received 10-year sentences in prison for violating sanctions. They are known only by the names Namazi, Shargi, and Tahbaz.
“We have received confirmation that Iran has released from prison five Americans who were unjustly detained and has placed them on house arrest,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. “While this is an encouraging step, these U.S. citizens — Siamak Namazi, Morad Tahbaz, Emad Shargi, and two Americans who at this time wish to remain private — should have never been detained in the first place.”
“We will continue to monitor their condition as closely as possible. Of course, we will not rest until they are all back home in the United States,” she continued. “Until that time, negotiations for their eventual release remain ongoing and are delicate. We will, therefore, have little in the way of details to provide about the state of their house arrest or about our efforts to secure their freedom.”
When asked about a potential timetable for the Americans’ release, an anonymous source said that it may “take weeks before they return home to the U.S.”
Previous reports had stated that four of the five prisoners had recently been moved from Evin Prison to house arrest in a hotel in Tehran, signaling a likely prisoner swap. The fifth prisoner, a woman who has dual American and Iranian citizenship, had already been transferred to house arrest earlier this year.