East Africa News Post

Complete News World

Five Americans were freed in Iran as part of a deal to freeze $6 billion in Iranian funds

Five Americans were freed in Iran as part of a deal to freeze $6 billion in Iranian funds

(CNN) — A senior US government official said five of the freed Americans had already been confirmed to be in Doha.

The release ends the prisoners’ long-held dream. Three people publicly known to be part of the deal – Imad Sharqi, Morad Tahbas and Siamak Namasi – spent more than five years in prison. Namasi has been detained since 2015. The identities of the other two Americans are not publicly known.

Siamak Namasi’s mother, Efi Namasi, and Morad Tahbas’ wife, Vida Tahbas – who was unable to leave Iran – also traveled on the flight from Iran to Doha, a senior Biden administration official said.

After a stopover in the Qatari capital, they will travel to Washington to be reunited with their families, the official said.

His release represents an important diplomatic breakthrough after complicated back-and-forth negotiations between Washington and Tehran.

It is the latest high-profile deal negotiated by the Biden administration to secure the release of US citizens wrongfully detained abroad, following the release of Americans from Russia and Venezuela.

The US government believes the five Americans have been unjustly detained.

Under the US-Iran deal, $6 billion in Iranian funds held in restricted accounts in South Korea will be transferred to restricted accounts in banks in Qatar. Qatar notified Iranian and US authorities that the money had been transferred from Switzerland to bank accounts in Qatar.

Sources told CNN the funds came from oil sales sanctioned and held in accounts created under the Trump administration. Biden administration officials have insisted that funds transferred to accounts in Qatar can only be used by Iran for humanitarian purchases and that each transaction is monitored by the US Treasury Department.

See also  The Tennessee floods killed at least 22 people and left dozens missing

Five Iranians have already been freed in the US

The deal also included the release of five Iranians from US custody. Iran’s state media, Press TV, reported that two of the five Iranian prisoners arrested by the United States had arrived in Doha, Qatar.

Noor News posted a picture on its official Telegram account showing Mehrdat Moin Ansari and Reza Sarhangpur who arrived in Doha this Monday.

According to Noor News, both are preparing to go to Iran.

Noor News reported that the remaining three prisoners were released this Monday. Two of the detainees will remain in the United States and one will go to a third country, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Minister Nasser Kanani said at a press conference on Monday.

According to the Iranian mission to the United Nations, cited by Iran’s state news agency IRNA, the five Iranian nationals are: Mehrdat Moin Ansari, Kambis Ater-Kashani, Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani, Amin Hassanzadeh and Kave Lotfollah Afrasyabi.

In September, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also confirmed the deal’s prisoner releases, noting that “the United States has committed to the release of five Iranian nationals currently detained in the United States.”

The Americans’ release would represent a significant diplomatic breakthrough after complicated back-and-forth negotiations between Washington and Tehran.

Three people publicly known to be part of the deal – Imad Sharqi, Morad Tahbas and Siamak Namasi – have been in prison for more than five years. Namasi has been detained since 2015. The identities of the other two Americans are not publicly known.

Central Bank of Iran provides fund transfer details

Mohammad-Reza Farsin, governor of Iran’s central bank, provided details of how the equivalent of nearly $6 billion in Iranian assets was coming to Qatar.

See also  Immigrants revolted in Tapasula

“On August 19 this year, all of Iran’s inaccessible resources stored in South Korean banks were transferred to a Swiss central bank account to be converted into euros,” Farsin said in a camera report published by Fars. Company. In Telegram.

“Six Iranian banks opened accounts in two Qatari banks and according to the agreements, all payments were made by Qatari banks and SWIFT brokers,” he said.

“Yesterday we received an official letter from the Qatari authorities that the accounts of six Iranian banks have been activated and today 5,573,492,000 euros have been deposited into six Iranian accounts of two Qatari banks, Al Ahli and Al Duqan” .

“Iran’s complaint against South Korea continues and will continue,” he said, referring to Iran’s decision to sue South Korea for delaying the release of frozen assets.

— Becky Anderson, Mustafa Salem et al Adam Bouhramati contributed to this report.