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Prisoner Swap between Iran and US Commences | Politics News

between Iran and : Five Americans and Five Iranians Released

In a significant development, Iran has released five American prisoners as part of a prisoner exchange agreement with the United States. The prisoners were moved to Tehran’s airport and will be flown to Qatar’s capital, Doha. Four of the prisoners had already been transferred to house arrest last month, while the fifth prisoner had been under house arrest earlier.

This recent move confirms that the prisoner exchange deal, which was agreed upon last month, has been successfully executed. The agreement also includes the of frozen Iranian funds.

As part of the deal, the United States is expected to release five Iranian prisoners. This includes Kaveh Afrasiabi, a political scientist and US resident charged with being an unregistered agent for the Iranian government. Mehrdad Moein Ansari, a 40-year-old Iranian resident of the UAE and who was convicted of violating sanctions on Iran, will also be released. Amin Hassanzadeh, a permanent US resident accused of stealing secrets four years ago to send to Iran, is another prisoner set to be released. Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani, a 46-year-old Canadian national charged with illegally exporting laboratory equipment to Iran, and Kambiz Attar Kashani, a 44-year-old dual national convicted of conspiring to illegally technologies and goods to Iran, will also be freed. However, only two of the Iranian prisoners will return to Iran, while the rest will be sent to a third country or have expressed their desire to remain in the US due to personal reasons.

The identities of three of the American prisoners, who were arrested on charges of , are known. They are Siamak Namazi, a 51-year-old businessman held in Evin Prison since 2015; Emad Sharghi, a 59-year-old businessman arrested in 2018, and Morad Tahbaz, a 67-year-old environmentalist who also holds British and was arrested in 2018. The identities of the other two American prisoners have not been disclosed, but it has been reported that one of them is a woman.

In addition to the prisoner exchange, the agreement also involves the release of approximately $6 billion of frozen Iranian funds. These funds, which were frozen in South Korea due to US sanctions imposed in 2018, were first exchanged for euros and transferred to Switzerland before being deposited into the accounts of six Iranian banks in Qatar. The will be used for the purchase of non-sanctioned goods.

While the prisoner exchange and release of Iranian funds have taken place, there are other pressing issues between Iran and the international community. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in New York to participate in the United Nations General Assembly and hold meetings on the sidelines. The Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman stated that Tehran still believes there is a way for all parties to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of (JCPOA), also known as the nuclear accord. Indirect talks regarding the JCPOA may be held in New York. However, Iran’s efforts to have sanctions lifted will extend beyond the JCPOA negotiations.

Meanwhile, Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continue to have disagreements regarding the monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran insists that its nuclear program is strictly peaceful, but conflicts have emerged over various outstanding issues, including uranium traces found at several sites. Last week, Iran expelled eight French and German IAEA inspectors after France, Germany, and the United Kingdom issued a statement criticizing Iran for its lack of cooperation with the international nuclear watchdog.

Moreover, the European allies announced that they would maintain their own sanctions on Iran related to its development of ballistic missiles. The European countries view these sanctions as a response to Iran’s ongoing noncompliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Some restrictions on Iran’s research and development of ballistic missiles are set to expire next month as part of the nuclear accord. However, Iran considers these restrictions to be automatically lifted on October 18 and regards the European Union’s decision to be of no value.

As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how Iran’s interactions with the international community will progress in terms of the nuclear deal, missile development, and cooperation with the IAEA.

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