Five Americans detained will be released on Monday as part of a prisoner swap deal. Officials expect an exchange of prisoners between Iran and the United States to occur on Monday.
According to The Associated Press, Nasser Kanaani, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, confirmed the swap would occur during a press conference on Monday. The agreement calls for releasing five Iranians imprisoned in the United States in exchange for five Americans detained in Iran and releasing $6 billion previously frozen in South Korea.
According to Kanaani, the cash, a significant component of the intended swap, is presently in Qatar, acting as an intermediary between Tehran and Washington in the negotiations.
“We witnessed the freezing of parts (sic) of Iranian assets in some countries, including South Korea,” Kanaani explained. “Fortunately, as part of our active foreign diplomacy policy, Iran’s frozen assets in South Korea were released. God willing, the assets will begin fully controlled by the government and the nation today.”
“About the prisoner swap, it will take place today, and five prisoners, citizens of the Islamic Republic, will be released from US prisons,” Kanaani continued. “Five imprisoned Iranian citizens will be given to the US side reciprocally, based on their will.” Based on the agreement, we anticipate these two issues will be resolved.”
Kanaani stated that two Iranian detainees will remain in the United States.
In Qatar, blocked assets from Seoul kept in South Korean won are being turned into Euros. As part of the agreement, they will be transferred to Iran.
The total amount might range from $6 billion to $7 billion, depending on exchange rates.
The monies were originally part of an arrangement South Korea owed Iran for oil it had purchased. Still, they had yet to pay due to sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on similar transactions in 2019.
Republicans and others have chastised President Biden for including the cash, arguing that it will assist in boosting the Iranian economy at a time when Iran is posing a rising threat to US troops and Mideast allies.
Washington insists that the funds can only be used for humanitarian purposes, such as medicine and food. While Iran has mainly agreed to this stipulation, certain officials claim such limits do not exist.
The most recent meaningful exchange occurred in 2016 when Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The deal also called for releasing four American hostages, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian. Following that, several Iranians in the United States were also released.
The agreement also called President Obama’s administration to send Tehran $400 million in cash.