Iranian-U.S. detainees involved in swap, fund release


(c) Reuters. This illustration shows the USA and Iranian flags on September 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States and Iran will each free five detainees under an exchange agreement that also involves the transfer of $6 billion unfrozen Iranian assets from South Korea.

Following are the U.S. citizens imprisoned in Iran who will be released under the deal:


Siamak Namazi, 51, a businessman with dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship, was detained in 2015 by the Revolutionary Guards while visiting his family in Tehran. Baquer Namazi, his ailing father who had returned to Iran to see his son in jail, was arrested months later. Both were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2016 for allegedly spying on the U.S. government and cooperating.


In 2017, Sharghi and his family moved from the United States to Iran. In 2018, the Iranian-American 59 year old businessman was arrested while working for Saravan Holding a tech investment firm. In November 2020, he was summoned to appear before another Revolutionary Court that sentenced him 10 years in prison on charges of espionage. Iranian media claimed he had not been imprisoned at first, but he was arrested in January 2021 as he attempted to flee Iran. MORAD TAHBAZ

An Iranian American environmentalist who holds British citizenship and is 67 years old, Tahbaz, was arrested in 2018. In 2019, he was sentenced for 10 years of prison for “assembly, collusion and threats against Iran’s security” as well as “contacts with U.S. enemies government for the purpose to spy”. The number of Americans detained in Iran is unknown, as families and the U.S. Government do not want to make the cases public in order to secure their release. IRANIAN DETAINEES INSIDE THE U.S.

According to Iranian officials, the five Iranians who are currently held in the United States include Mehrdad Moin Ansari, Kambiz Ashani, Reza Sarangpour-Kafrani Amin Hassanzadeh, and Kaveh Ansari. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that two Iranians who were freed as part of the deal will remain in the United States, while the third Iranian will travel to a foreign country to be with his family. Two other Iranians will return to their home country. Since years, Iran has been demanding the release of Iranians who are detained in the United States. Reuters reported that there are more than a dozen Iranians held in the U.S. mainly because they “breached the U.S. sanction on Iran”.