Five Americans imprisoned in Iran are expected to be released Monday as part of a broader deal between the United States and Iran, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
The U.S. government designated the five Americans as wrongfully detained.
Speaking at a press conference broadcast on Press TV on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the publication “will hopefully be completed” alongside other elements of the agreement.
A Qatari plane is waiting in Iran to bring the five Americans to Doha, a source briefed on the details of the case told CNN on Monday.
Under the U.S.-Iran deal, $6 billion in Iranian funds held in restricted accounts in South Korea would be transferred to restricted accounts at banks in Qatar. Iranian and U.S. officials were informed by Qatar that the money had been transferred from Switzerland to bank accounts in Qatar, according to a source briefed on the details of the matter.
Sources told CNN the funds came from authorized oil sales placed in accounts opened during the Trump administration. Biden administration officials stressed that the funds that were transferred to accounts in Qatar can only be used by Iran for humanitarian purchases and that each transaction will be monitored by the US Treasury Department.
The agreement also provides for the release of five Iranians detained by the United States.
The release of the Americans would represent a significant diplomatic breakthrough after years of complicated indirect negotiations between Washington and Tehran.
The three people notoriously involved in the deal – Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz and Siamak Namazi – have all been imprisoned for more than five years. Namazi has been detained since 2015. The identities of the other two Americans have not been made public.
This is a developing story. It will be updated…