Five American Prisoners Freed In Biden-Iran ‘Ransom’ Deal

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Jake Smith Contributor
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Five Americans detained in Iran have been released as part of a recent deal between the Biden administration and Iran, according to a Qatari official.

The five Americans are on a flight out of Tehran on a Qatari government jet to Doha, along with some of their family members and the Qatari ambassador to Tehran, according to CNN, citing a Qatari official. The Americans were released as part of the Biden administration deal to transfer $6 billion in previously frozen assets, along with several Iranian nationals, to Tehran, in what has been decried as a “ransom” payment by critics. (RELATED: ‘No Progress’ In Nuclear Talks With Iran As It Slowly Builds Uranium Stockpile: REPORT)

“From day one of this Administration, the President and I have made clear that we have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens at home and abroad,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Monday morning. “Under President Biden’s leadership, we have now secured the release of more than 30 wrongfully detained Americans around the world.”

“We will not rest until we have brought home every wrongfully detained American,” Blinken said.

Three of the five Americans – Morad Tahbaz, Emad Shargi, and Siamak Namazi – had been detained for more than five years. The identity of the other two prisoners has not been publicly disclosed.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave the final go-ahead last week for the $6 billion transfer to Qatar, the country that will dole out the funds back to Iran. The Biden administration granted the $6 billion on the condition that it would be used for humanitarian aid, but Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said last week that Tehran has the “authority” to use the funds however it sees fit, raising questions about the terms of the deal.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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