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5 U.S. Citizens Held by Iran Regime to Be Freed for $6 Billion in Frozen Assets

Iranian American’s U.S. citizenship is not recognized by Tehran.
Tehran’s Evin Prison. (File photo: AP)
Tehran’s Evin Prison. (File photo: AP)

Reports from multiple U.S. media outlets Thursday confirmed that the United States and Iran have successfully negotiated an agreement to secure the release of five imprisoned Americans.

A legal representative for one of the detainees shared with CNN Thursday that these individuals have been relocated from Tehran's Evin Prison and will be housed at a hotel under the supervision of Iranian authorities. Notably, Evin Prison is a prominent detention center used by the Iranian regime for holding political prisoners.

The terms of the agreement reportedly stipulate that the Biden administration will unfreeze $6 billion of Tehran's assets that were previously sanctioned by the U.S., alongside the release of several incarcerated Iranian nationals.

The New York Times also reported Thursday that the restricted funds in question are being held in South Korea, awaiting transfer to the central bank of Qatar. The agreement reportedly grants administration of these funds to the Qatari government, which has stated that they will allegedly distribute the resources solely for humanitarian purposes within Iran.

Iranian officials at the United Nations have divulged to the Associated Press that the final transfer of the funds and the subsequent release of the detainees are projected to transpire within the next month.

A notable precedent for such diplomatic exchanges occurred when Iran agreed to release four American prisoners as a condition of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Concurrently, President Barack Obama's administration facilitated the transfer of $400 million in cash to Tehran.

While the Biden administration has made great efforts to secure another similar deal with Iran's regime, they have left the negotiating table empty handed on several occasions.

Western nations have often accused the regime in Iran of employing foreign prisoners as leverage in negotiations.

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