A plane carrying five American citizens who had been imprisoned for years in Iran landed in the United States Tuesday morning in a prisoner swap deal between Iran and the U.S.
The five U.S. citizens who were detained in Iran were freed after President Joe Biden agreed to the transfer of $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets to Iran and the release of five Iranians in U.S. custody, the Deseret News previously reported.
The plane carrying the five U.S. citizens landed in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, early Tuesday morning, where they were met by friends and family on the tarmac, according to The Associated Press.
“Today, five innocent Americans who were imprisoned in Iran are finally coming home,” President Joe Biden stated in a press release.
“We will not stop working until we bring home every American held hostage or wrongfully detained,” he continued.
Who are the prisoners who were freed?
The five American citizens who returned to the United States include:
- Two unidentified Americans, one of which is a female former U.N. worker, per CBS News.
- Siamak Namazi, an Iranian-American businessman who was sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison in Iran for “allegedly spying and cooperating with the U.S. government,” per Reuters.
- Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian-American environmentalist who was sentenced in 2019 to 10 years in prison in Iran for allegedly colluding “against Iran’s national security.”
- Emad Shargi, an Iranian-American businessman who was sentenced in 2020 to 10 years in prison in Iran on espionage charges.
The five Iranian prisoners that the U.S. will release include:
- Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, an Iranian who in 2021 was charged with charged with acting as an unregistered agent of the Iranian government.
- Mehrdad Ansari, an Iranian who in 2021 was sentenced to 63 months in prison for illegally exporting military sensitive items.
- Amin Hasanzadeh, an Iranian and U.S. resident who in 2019 was charged with “allegedly stealing engineering plans from his employer to send to Iran,” per AP.
- Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani, an Iranian who was charged in 2021 for illegally exporting laboratory equipment to Iran.
- Kambiz Attar Kashani, an Iranian-American sentenced at the beginning of this year to 30 months in prison for conspiring to provide electronic equipment and technology to the government of Iran.