This is a historic measure. The rapprochement between the Iran and the United States materialises a little more with the release of prisoners in Exchange, including the journalist of the Washington Post Jason Rezaian, prisoner in Tehran for more than 500 days.
This exchange of prisoners to an unprecedented between the two countries comes as the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the head of Iranian diplomacy Mohammad Javad Zarif met in Vienna to announce the implementation of a landmark between the Iran and the major powers nuclear agreement. The release procedure was “in progress” Saturday evening, according to an Iranian official. Four Iranian-Americans whose Jason Rezaian has been released by the Iran while the United States have in Exchange “granted their clemency” to seven Iranians, said a U.S. official confirming information given earlier by the Iranian official media and the Attorney general of Tehran.
Accused of spying
The Switzerland which represents the interests of the United States in Iran has facilitated this agreement, said the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, noting that negotiations lasted one year. A fifth American Matthew Trevitick, whose name and fate had never been made public, was also released by the Iranian authorities, but in the framework of a diplomatic process that has nothing to do with the exchange of prisoners. Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi was the first to create surprise Saturday by announcing that “in the context of the national interest and in accordance with the decision of the supreme Council of national security, four binational Iranian prisoners were released as part of an exchange of prisoners”.
The best known of these detainees is the U.S. daily Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian. 39-year-old had been arrested in July 2014 he sentenced end 2015 at a prison sentence whose time has never been announced publicly for “espionage” and “collaboration with hostile Governments”, accusations refuted forcefully by his entourage and his newspaper. His wife, journalist she also, had also been detained prior to be released.
A controversial trial
The Washington Post termed the trial of Jason Rezaian “of Sham” and had brought his case before the Working Group of the United Nations on the detentions. The daily welcomed Saturday the release of its correspondent: “We couldn’t be happier to hear that Jason Rezaian has been released”. In addition to Jason Rezaian, were released Pastor Saïd Abedini, the ex-marine Amir Hekmati and a man named Nosratollah Kosravi.detenu from September 2012, Pastor Abedini was accused of having “disrupted the national security” by its religious activities. He had been sentenced to eight years in prison. Married to an American and naturalized American, he has always denied these accusations.
Arrested in August 2011, Amir Hekmati, the age of thirty years, was found guilty of espionage on behalf of the CIA, American intelligence, despite the denials by Washington Agency. Sentenced to death in 2012, his sentence had been commuted in ten years in prison. According to his family, the young man was visiting relatives in Iran when he was arrested. Tehran “is also committed to continue to cooperate with the United States to determine what happened to Robert Levinson”, an ex-FBI disappeared in Iran there are years, according to Washington.
Relationship heats up
The seven Iranians released by the United States, of which six have dual nationality, were prosecuted or already sentenced for selling to the Iran of industrial equipment in violation of international sanctions against Tehran. These seven prisoners are: Bahram Mekanik, Khosro Afghahi, Arash Ghahreman, Touraj Maryam, Nima Golestaneh, Nadar Modanlou and Ali Sabounchi. “The United States have also removed all red notices Interpol and have dropped their charges against 14 Iranians for which it has been established that extradition requests would have probably doomed to failure,” also said a U.S. official.
In late September, the Iranian president Hassan Rohani said that his country was ready for an exchange of prisoners with Washington. The Iran and the United States broke diplomatic ties in 1980, but relations between the two countries have warmed since the conclusion of the agreement on nuclear energy of 14 July in Vienna, which provides for the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran commitment to renounce atomic weapons.
Credits – Agence France-Presse (AFP) – © 2015 AFP