Media waited in front of the U.S. military Ramstein air base in Germany on Monday (January 17), where three Iranian-Americans who left Tehran on Sunday under a U.S. prisoner swap with Iran had arrived late on Sunday as a U.S. State department official confirmed.
The freed prisoners are believed to undertake medical checks at the Landstuhl medical centre, which is based at the air base.
The prisoner swap followed the lifting of most international sanctions on Iran under a deal U.S. President Barack Obama said cut off Tehran’s path to a nuclear bomb.
In a sign of sustained readiness to track Iranian compliance with remaining United Nations curbs, the United States imposed fresh sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for supplying Iran’s ballistic missile program.
The lifting of sanctions and the prisoner deal considerably reduce the hostility between Tehran and Washington that has shaped the Middle East since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.
A Swiss plane took Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief; Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Idaho; and Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine from Flint, Michigan, as well as some family members, from Tehran to Geneva, Switzerland. Shortly afterward, the three left for the U.S. military base in Germany, a U.S. State Department official said.
One more Iranian-American released under the same swap, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, was not aboard the aircraft. A fifth prisoner, American student Matthew Trevithick, was released separately on Saturday, a U.S. official said.
Several Iranian-Americans held in U.S. prisons after being charged or convicted for sanctions violations have also been released, their lawyers told Reuters on Sunday.
Story by Reuters