Iran releases four \'dual-nationals\' in prisoner exchange

Friday 15/01/2016
Rezaian has been held in prison since his arrest in 2014

TEHRAN - Iran said Saturday that four Iranian dual nationals had been freed as part of a prisoner exchange in line with national interests at the order of the country's top security committee.

Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's Tehran correspondent, and Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Idaho, are among four dual Iranian nationals freed by Iran, the Fars News Agency reported Saturday.

Rezaian and Abedini are both Iranian-American citizens. Iran's judiciary did not name the four dual-nationals who were released as part of a prisoner swap.

But Fars, citing its judicial reporter, said Rezaian and Abedini were two of the four set free.

The announcement came as Iran and world powers led by the United States were expected to finally implement last July's nuclear deal, which will lift international sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.

Iranian-American citizens held in Iran also include former US Marine Amir Hekmati, who is serving 10 years for cooperating with hostile governments.

A fourth dual national is Siamak Namazi, a businessman arrested last year in Tehran after the nuclear deal was struck.

A fifth American, retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, went missing in southern Iran eight years ago.