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The rare agreement that allowed the exchange of prisoners between the United States and Iran  world

The rare agreement that allowed the exchange of prisoners between the United States and Iran world

An agreement between the United States and Iran requires the release of prisoners in both countries – Photography: Reuters via BBC

Five American citizens who were imprisoned in Iran for years returned to the United States, while five Iranians imprisoned there returned. we They were also released to return to their country of origin.

BBC correspondent Liz Doucet followed the moment the five American prisoners left the plane. According to her, the relief between them was obvious. One of them told his lawyer “The nightmare is over”.

In addition to liberation, Washington pledged to release 6 billion Brazilian riyals of Iranian fundscorresponding to the sale of oil to South Korea.

The two countries severed diplomatic relations in April 1980, months after radical Iranian students took control of the US embassy in Tehran and took dozens of Americans hostage in the wake of the Iranian revolution.

But since former US President Donald Trump canceled this agreement in 2018, there have been no direct meetings between Iran and the United States.

Amid this lack of confidence in the relationship between the two countries, A Indirect dialogue led to an exchange of prisoners This was completed Monday.

Despite this, some experts condemned the exchange, estimating that it may encourage the holding of more Americans “hostage” in Iranian prisons.

The man said the “nightmare was over” upon his return to the United States. – Image: Reuters via BBC

President Joe Biden thanked the governments of Qatar, Oman, Switzerland and South Korea in a statement for their support in this exchange. However, he soon announced measures against the Iranian government.

“Today, five innocent Americans who were imprisoned in Iran finally returned to their homeland,” Biden said in a statement. “As we celebrate the return of these Americans, we also remember those who did not return,” he said. He added: “We will continue to inflict losses on Iran due to its provocative actions in the region.”

these New penaltiesAs the US government announced, Targeting the assets of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad On charges of “providing material support to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.”

The US government claims that these measures imposed “tangible consequences on those responsible or complicit in the hostage-taking or unlawful detention of a US citizen abroad.”

As a result, the US government stated that “all property and interests in property” of people associated with former presidents that are in the United States or in the possession of Americans will be blocked.

Potential problems with the agreement

But Monday’s exchange does not represent the release of all American prisoners in Iran, and could lead to problems, former Pentagon officials have warned.

A former senior Pentagon official warned that Prisoner exchanges could give US enemies abroad “more reasons” to arrest Americans.

“[O Irã] He added: “It will also return five of its citizens who were legally tried and convicted in the United States, in addition to the money. Russia may not accept this matter.”

Mulroy also said the United States should take action to monitor funds worth R$6 billion, preferably through the Qatari government, related to amounts obtained through oil exports, which ended up in restricted accounts after the resignation of then-President Donald Trump. Trump. .