5 Americans freed citizens who had been unjustly imprisoned in Iran have been released and have arrived in Doha, Qatar. They will later fly to the United States today. This release is part of a broader agreement that involves the US unfreezing $6 billion in Iranian assets.
These five individuals, all of whom were wrongfully detained, are currently aboard a Qatari government jet en route to Doha. This jet departed from an airport in Tehran on Monday afternoon local time. Additionally, two relatives of the detainees and the Qatari ambassador to Tehran are accompanying them on the flight.
Among those released are Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz, and Siamak Namazi. All of whom had spent over five years in detention. Siamak Namazi, in particular, had been imprisoned since 2015. The identities of the other two Americans have not been publicly disclosed.
Siamak Namazi’s mother, Effie Namazi, and Morad Tahbaz’s wife, Vida Tahbaz, who were previously unable to leave Iran, are also on the flight from Iran to Doha. After a stop in the Qatari capital, they will continue their journey to the Washington, DC area, where they will be reunited with their families.
Joe Biden Statement
President Joe Biden expressed his joy at the freed of these 5 Americans. They had endured years of suffering and uncertainty. He thanked both domestic and international partners for their relentless efforts in achieving this outcome. It is including the governments of Qatar, Oman, Switzerland, and South Korea.
This release marks a significant diplomatic breakthrough following years of intricate indirect negotiations between the United States and Iran. It’s important to note that the two nations lack formal diplomatic relations. Tensions escalated during the Trump administration when the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and pursued a “maximum pressure” strategy against Tehran. Attempts to curb Iran’s nuclear program since then have been unsuccessful.
In parallel, Iran has faced criticism for human rights abuses against its own citizens, with protests erupting following the tragic death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s “morality police” last year. These protests were met with harsh suppression.
The release of these Americans is the latest high-profile diplomatic achievement for the Biden administration in securing the freedom of US citizens unjustly detained abroad, following successful negotiations with Russia and Venezuela.