WH Pats Self On Back After Exchanging Prisoners With Iran

The five US citizens, who were freed by Iran on Monday, touched down at Fort Belvoir, Virginia Tuesday morning, CBS News reported.

The Biden administration brokered a controversial deal to transfer $6 billion in unfrozen oil assets to Iran in exchange for the release of the five detainees.

The five Americans include three who had been sentenced to ten years on charges of spying, Siamak Namazi, Morad Tahbaz, and Emad Shargi. The other two Americans, who wished to remain anonymous, include a former female UN worker.

The five Americans flew from Tehran to Qatar on Monday where they were met by Roger Carstens, the US Special Presidential Envoy, and Adam Paley, Deputy Special Envoy for Iran. They then boarded a plane bound for Fort Belvoir where they were met on the tarmac by family and friends.

After warm embraces, the group moved inside where Roger Carstens delivered brief remarks welcoming the Americans home and encouraging them to continue fighting for Americans still imprisoned in Iran.

Emad Shargi’s family said President Joe Biden and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with the families during a brief phone call after the Americans arrived in Qatar. According to the White House, the call was “emotional.”

In a statement released by the White House on Monday, President Biden marked their release, saying the country celebrates the return of the detainees and urged Americans to remember those who remain imprisoned in Iran.

The president called on Tehran to “give a full account” of what happened to American Bob Levinson who went missing in Iran in 2007. Biden said the Levinson family is owed answers.

In his statement, the president also announced sanctions against Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and its Ministry of Intelligence for their involvement in the wrongful detention of Americans.

Biden vowed that his administration would continue imposing costs on Iran for its “provocative actions in the region.”