Washington Post reporter among 11 in US-Iran prisoner swap

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Washington Post reporter among 11 in US-Iran prisoner swap
Jason Rezaian

Tehran - Tehran to free four US-Iranian dual nationals as part of a prisoner exchange; 7 Iranians in US prisons to be released.

By Agencies

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Published: Sat 16 Jan 2016, 6:02 PM

Last updated: Sun 17 Jan 2016, 1:03 AM

Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's Tehran correspondent, and Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Idaho, are among four dual Iranian nationals freed by Iran, the Fars News Agency reported on Saturday.
The four Iranian dual nationals had been freed as part of a prisoner exchange in line with national interests at the order of the country's top security committee.
The United States will release seven Iranian nationals currently serving jail terms in the prisoner swap, the English language service of the Islamic Republic’s official IRNA news agency reported.
“Prosecutor Abbas Jaafari told IRNA that four dual nationality Iranian-American prisoners, passing prison terms in Iran, will be exchanged with seven Iranian nationals languishing at the US jails,” it reported.
It said the swap included a clause under which the United States would no longer pursue the extradition of 14 Iranians for alleged involvement in purchasing arms in the United States for supply to Iran.
Rezaian and Abedini are both Iranian-American citizens. Iran's judiciary did not name the four dual-nationals who were released as part of a prisoner swap.
But Fars, citing its judicial reporter, said Rezaian and Abedini were two of the four set free.
Rezaian's lawyer, Leila Ahsan, said she had not learned if her client was free. "I have no information on this," she said.
The announcement came as Iran and world powers led by the United States were expected to finally implement last July's nuclear deal, which will lift international sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.
As well as California-born Rezaian, sentenced to unspecified jail time last year having been tried for espionage, Iran has been holding three other Iranian-American citizens.
They include pastor Saeed Abedini, in jail for three years after being convicted of undermining national security, and former US Marine Amir Hekmati, who is serving 10 years for cooperating with hostile governments.
The fourth is Siamak Namazi, a businessman arrested last year in Tehran after the nuclear deal was struck.
A fifth American, retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, went missing in southern Iran eight years ago.

Saeed Abedini
Saeed Abedini

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