On Tuesday, five Americans released from an Iranian prison a day earlier landed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, following a deal that saw the US release five Iranian prisoners and transfer $6B in Iranian cash from accounts in South Korea to accounts in Doha, Qatar....
On Tuesday, five Americans released from an Iranian prison a day earlier landed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, following a deal that saw the US release five Iranian prisoners and transfer $6B in Iranian cash from accounts in South Korea to accounts in Doha, Qatar.1
The American-Iranian dual citizens released are businessmen Siamak Namazi, 51, and Emad Sharqi, 59, as well as environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, 67, with the other two not yet publicly named. Of the five Iranians freed from the US, three chose not to return to Tehran.2
While several Republicans have expressed concerns over Iran using the funds to support proxy groups in the Middle East, US State Dept. spokesman Matthew Miller said the US Treasury Dept. has 'strict oversight' of the money and that Washington 'has the ability to police their use.'1
The release of funds was conditioned on them being used for 'humanitarian purposes.' Iranian Pres. Ebrahim Raisi said that 'humanitarian means whatever the Iranian people needs, so this money will be budgeted for those needs, and the needs of the Iranian people will be decided and determined by the Iranian government.'3
All of those held by Iran were charged with espionage and spying, with the Biden admin. calling said charges unsubstantiated. The Iranians held by the US were mainly charged with breaking US sanctions.4
The deal comes only a few days after the US, UK, and Canada imposed more sanctions on Iran ahead of the one-year anniversary of the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini while she was in Iranian custody — triggering mass anti-government protests.5
Democratic narrative, as provided by CNN. The Biden admin. has freed five innocent Americans. The freedom and well-being of US citizens are paramount to this administration and are worth the high price. Besides, though Republicans may try to spin this as the US giving Iran 'free money,' the unfrozen funds are from legally undertaken oil sales, so the US taxpayer is by no means footing the bill. Also, the US is putting additional sanctions on Tehran regarding the killing of Mahsa Amini.
Republican narrative, as provided by FOX News. This 'deal' is nothing more than a reward for terrorism. The Iranian regime is one of the most rogue regimes in the world, and Biden just gave Tehran billions in funds that they can now use to threaten US forces and allies in the region. On top of all of this, Biden is enabling Iran to build a nuclear weapon through his misguided diplomacy, which would change the geopolitical fabric of the entire region forever.