Who were the four prisoners released by Iran in the US exchange?
Iran has released four US prisoners in exchange for seven Iranian citizens as sanctions on the Islamic Republic are lifted as a part of the historic nuclear deal. The exchange also saw 14 Iranians sought by the US removed from the Interpol wanted list.
According to the Washington Post, Iran confirmed the release of the detainees just hours before diplomats in Austria announced the official activation of the nuclear deal. It was reported on Sunday that at least three of the released Americans were flown out of Tehran on Sunday.
So who exactly were the US detainees? Here’s what we know.
Jason Rezaian was a Washington Post correspondent in Tehran jailed on charges including espionage last November. He was reportedly kept in solitary confinement for nine months before being charged., and it was alleged that he did not have access to his lawyer during his closed-door trial.
Saeed Abedini was a US Christian pastor from Idaho arrested in Iran in 2012 for organizing churches in people's houses. According to Christianity Today, he was sentenced to eight years in prison after being charged with undermining national security.
Amir Hekmati is a former US marine who was arrested in 2011 while visiting relatives in Iran. He was sentenced to death on charges of spying for the CIA, however this sentence was overturned by Iran’s supreme court. In 2014 it was announce that the sentence had been changed to ten years.
Little is known about the fourth prisoner, however Yahoo News has reported that he was not on the plane which left Tehran with the others on board.
All four prisoners are dual US-Iranian citizens.