Sat, 23 Sep 2023

Who Are the US Detainees Released in Prisoner Swap With Iran

Voice of America
19 Sep 2023, 05:05 GMT+10

Here is a look at the detainees released Monday as part of a prisoner swap between the United States and Iran.

Siamak Namazi

Siamak Namazi, 51, was the longest held Iranian American detainee. He was arrested in 2015 and sentenced the following year to 10 years in Tehran's Evin Prison on charges of espionage. Months later, his father was arrested when he visited Iran to check on his son. The elder Namazi was later placed on house arrest and permitted to leave Iran in 2022 due to medical reasons. Namazi is an energy executive who promoted closer ties between the west and Iran.

Emad Sharghi

Emad Sharghi, 59, is an Iranian American venture capitalist who moved to Iran with his wife in 2017. He was detained the following year, but his family says he was released after going through eight months of interrogations. Authorities rearrested Sharghi while he was trying to leave the country while on bail. He was charged with espionage and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Morad Tahbaz

Morad Tahbaz, 67, was also sentenced to 10 years of prison. He is an Iranian American conservationist who also holds British citizenship. In 2018, he was arrested during an Iranian crackdown on environmental activists. Tahbaz had reportedly remained in prison despite an agreement between the United Kingdom and Iran that he be released from prison on furlough.

Two unnamed detainees

Two additional prisoners were released Monday. However, the U.S. government has not released their names at the request of their families.

The Iranians

Five Iranians charged or convicted of nonviolent crimes in the United States received clemency under the deal:

Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi

Mehrdad Ansari

Amin Hasanzadeh

Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani

Kambiz Attar Kashani

Some information for this story came from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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