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Iran releases 5 Americans imprisoned in the country after agreement with the US

Five Americans who were imprisoned in Iran have been released and are on a flight out of the country, he told CNN a Qatari official informed about the matter this Monday (18).

The measure is part of a broader agreement that includes the unfreezing of US$6 billion (about R$29 billion) in Iranian funds by the US. The US government classified the five Americans as unjustly detained.

They are being transported on a Qatari government jet to Doha. Two family members of those detained are also on board, along with the Qatari ambassador to Iran.

The release of the Americans ends a years-long nightmare for those who were detained.

Three of those believed to be part of the deal – Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz and Siamak Namazi – had all been imprisoned for more than five years. Namazi had been detained since 2015. The identities of the other two Americans are not publicly known.

The release represents a significant diplomatic breakthrough after years of complicated indirect negotiations between Washington and Tehran.

This is the latest high-level deal brokered by the Biden administration to secure the release of Americans deemed unjustly detained abroad following the release of Americans from Russia and Venezuela.

Under the terms of the U.S.-Iran agreement, $6 billion in Iranian funds that had been held in restricted accounts in South Korea were transferred to restricted bank accounts in Qatar.

Iranian and US authorities were notified by Qatar on Monday that the transfer had taken place, according to a source briefed on the details of the matter.

Sources told CNN that the funds came from oil sales that were permitted and placed in accounts opened during former President Donald Trump’s administration.

Biden administration officials have stressed that funds transferred to accounts in Qatar can only be used by Iran for humanitarian purchases and each transaction will be monitored by the US Treasury Department.

The agreement, which has already drawn criticism from Republicans, also involves the release of five Iranians in US custody.

The broad outlines of the liberation protest began to crystallize in Doha about seven months ago, after years of indirect negotiations.

The first tangible public measures under the agreement occurred about five weeks ago, when four of the Americans were transferred to house arrest. The fifth of them was already under house arrest.

As a result, the US had to follow indirect paths, relying on partners in the Middle East and Europe, including Qatar, Oman, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, all of which served as interlocutors for both sides throughout the negotiations.

It was Qatar that served as the main intermediary for the final agreement, as Iranian and American negotiators met in separate hotels – within sight of each other – in Doha, while Qatari diplomats came and went and details were worked out. correct.

In the weeks following the transfer to house arrest, US authorities stressed that the final discussions were ongoing and sensitive.

Namazi has dual Iranian-American citizenship. Her father, Baquer Namazi, was released to receive medical treatment in October 2022 after more than six years of detention in Iran.

Shargi, a businessman, and Tahbaz, an environmentalist, were first arrested in 2018. They also have dual Iranian and US citizenship.

In March, during an interview with CNN from inside Evin prison, Namazi made an emotional appeal to President Joe Biden to put the “freedom of innocent Americans above politics” and intensify efforts to secure their release.

Namazi’s family, as well as the Shargi and Tahbaz families, have made urgent appeals to the Biden administration to step up efforts to bring their loved ones home.

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Source: CNN Brasil

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