Five Americans held in Iranian prisons on espionage charges have been placed under house arrest and are in the process of being released, according to the White House.
The Iranian government also confirmed the news, describing the move as linked to the release of frozen assets in the country.
[Hossein Amirabdollahian/Iranian Foreign Minister/8:00 p.m. ET: “The prisoner exchange is a matter of humanitarian dimension without preconditions. We have conveyed to the mediating countries that we are ready for an exchange within a mutually agreed framework.”]
The frozen funds mentioned by the Iranian government are proceeds from oil sales worth about $7 billion, or $9.2 trillion of our money.
It had been under a four-year, three-month “no-withdrawal” ban at two domestic banks due to sanctions on Iran’s central bank that began with the breakdown of the nuclear deal during the Trump administration in 2018.
The U.S. government confirmed that the freeze had been lifted, but stipulated that its use was limited to humanitarian needs, etc.
[Tony Blinken/US Secretary of State: “Iran’s own funds will be transferred to accounts that can only be used for humanitarian purposes.”]
In response to criticism of handing over large sums of money to a “state sponsor of terrorism,” he countered that it doesn’t involve US tax dollars, and that Iran sanctions are still in effect.
[John Kirby/White House NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications: “There has been and will be criticism, and I understand that, but at the end of the day, no matter who you voted for, I hope you can understand how important it is that families are reunited and that Americans come home.”]
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported that South Korea has already transferred $6 billion to Switzerland.
The issue of frozen funds has been a major issue in the diplomatic friction between South Korea and Iran, as well as the background to the tanker capture.
The South Korean government has reiterated that it has “no confirmation” on the extent of its involvement in the agreement 카지노사이트킴 and whether the process of lifting it is underway.