Five American citizens who were behind bars in Iran were released this Monday from the Persian country as part of an agreement with Washington, which also involved the release of five Iranians imprisoned in the United States and the unfreezing of billions of dollars from Iran.
The five released Americans were Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz, and two others whose identity has not been revealed, all with dual American and Iranian nationality, reported the Iranian media PTV.
Namazi, Shargi and Tahbaz were sentenced to 10 years in prison for alleged crimes of espionage and contacts with the US government. accusations that they always denied and that caused rejection from the White House.
The five freed prisoners boarded a Qatari plane that left Tehran for Doha, where they were received by Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, as Qatar has served as an intermediary between both nations in conflict to facilitate the exchange.
On the part of the United States, five Iranian citizens who were arrested for minor crimes were released, of whichtwo of them were about to be released from prison and the other three had a pending trial, reported EFE.
Mehrdad Moin Ansari and Reza Sarhangpour, two of the released Iranians, are already in Doha to return to Tehran.while Kambiz Attar Kashani, Amin Hassanzadeh, and Kaveh Lotfollah Afrasiabi, will remain on American soil and another released one, it is not known to which country he will travel and his identity has not been revealed.
The recent exchange occurs amid high tensions between Iran and the United States, whose diplomatic relations were broken in 1979.
In 2018, tensions rose when Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal which was signed in 2015 between Iran and the rest of the world powers, as well as economic sanctions on the Islamic country.
However, Joe Biden expressed his willingness to return to the nuclear pact, But negotiations have stalled over differences over how and when to lift sanctions.as well as nuclear commitments.
With information from the EFE agency
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