Tehran, Iran – Iran and the United States have successfully completed a prisoner exchange two years in the making, which Tehran is hailing as a diplomatic victory.
After arduous indirect negotiations mediated by Qatar and Oman, Tehran and Washington on Monday exchanged five American and five Iranian prisoners in an airport in Doha.
Iran also confirmed access to $6bn of its own money that had been frozen for years in South Korea in compliance with unilateral US sanctions on Iran that were imposed after Washington in 2018 withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The money was first exchanged into euros and was transferred to banks in Qatar from Switzerland after the US issued a waiver clearing the transaction.
Of the five prisoners held in Iran, the identities of three are known. Siamak Namazi, Emad Sharghi and Morah Tahbaz were all charged with espionage-related offences.
In the face of US rhetoric that called them “hostages” who were wrongfully detained, Tehran had maintained its …