A U.S.-bound plane carrying five Americans freed by Iran left Doha on Monday as part of a prisoner swap for five Iranians held in the United States and the transfer of $6 billion in Iranian funds, marking a rare deal between the long-time antagonists.
“Today, five innocent Americans who were imprisoned in Iran are finally coming home,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement shortly before the U.S. detainees descended the stairs of a Qatari jet in Doha to be embraced by U.S. diplomats.
The White House confirmed a plane carrying the five, along with two U.S. family members who left Tehran with them earlier, was en route to the United States, where they were to be offered medical treatment by the U.S. military as they adjust to freedom.
Separately, Iran’s state-owned Press TV said the five Iranians held by the United States and charged with committing crimes had been freed, an apparent reference to their being granted clemency, and that two of them had landed in Tehran.
The other three are not expected to return to Iran.