Five Americans have escaped nightmarish imprisonment in Iran after a successful prisoner swap. The U.S. citizens arrived safely in Doha, Qatar, early Monday.
President Joe Biden says the prisoners were innocent and will be reunited with family after “years of agony, uncertainty, and suffering.”
The Doha-negotiated prisoner trade was triggered by the deposit of nearly $6 billion of frozen Iranian assets into accounts in Qatar. The White House says this is not a ransom payment, but exiled Iranian Prince Reza Pahlavi says it’s a bad move under any name.
Tensions remain high as the countries clash over sanctions, Tehran’s nuclear program, and U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf.
Meanwhile, Iran just kicked out several senior nuclear inspectors.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday that Iran effectively removed one-third of the agency’s most experienced inspectors in an “unprecedented” move.