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5 Americans homeward bound as Iran-US deal closes

5 Americans homeward bound as Iran-US deal closes

5 Americans homeward bound as Iran-US deal closes

5 Americans homeward bound as Iran-US deal closes

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  • Five Americans detained in Iran are expected to be released on Monday.
  • The release is part of a broader agreement with the United States.
  • The detainees are currently being transported to a Qatari jet stationed in Iran, which will carry them to Doha.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson has announced that five Americans imprisoned in Iran are expected to be released on Monday.

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This release is part of a broader agreement with the United States, which also involves the unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian funds.

The U.S. government has declared that all five Americans were wrongfully detained in Iran.

The foreign ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, mentioned during a press conference broadcasted on state-affiliated Press TV that the release is expected to be completed along with the other components of the agreement.

The detainees are currently being transported to a Qatari jet stationed in Iran, which will carry them to Doha.

Details of this operation were shared with the media by a source familiar with the situation.

The release of these Americans brings an end to their lengthy ordeal.

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Three of them, Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz, and Siamak Namazi, have been imprisoned for over five years, with Namazi being detained since 2015.

The identities of the other two Americans have not been publicly disclosed.

As part of the U.S.-Iran agreement, $6 billion in Iranian funds, previously held in restricted accounts in South Korea, will be transferred to restricted budgets in Qatari banks.

According to a source briefed on the matter, Qatar has notified Iranian and U.S. officials that the money has been moved from Switzerland to these accounts.

It’s important to note that the Biden administration has emphasized that these funds can only be used by Iran for humanitarian purposes, and each transaction will be closely monitored by the U.S. Treasury Department.

This agreement, although seen as a diplomatic breakthrough, has faced criticism from Republicans. It also entails the release of five Iranians who were in U.S. custody.

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The negotiations leading to this agreement began approximately seven months ago in Doha, following years of indirect talks.

The first public steps of the deal occurred around five weeks ago when four of the Americans were placed under house arrest, while the fifth was already under house arrest.

Siamak Namazi is a dual Iranian-U.S. citizen, and his father, Baquer Namazi, was released in October 2022 to receive medical treatment after more than six years in Iranian detention.

Emad Shargi is a businessman, and Morad Tahbaz is an environmentalist, both holding dual Iranian-U.S. citizenship.

In March, Siamak Namazi made an emotional plea to President Joe Biden in an unprecedented interview with the media from inside Evin Prison, urging the U.S. to prioritize the release of innocent Americans over politics and to intensify efforts for his release.

The Namazi, Shargi, and Tahbaz families had all urged the Biden administration to step up efforts to bring their loved ones back home.

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