Biden Grants Clemency to 5 Jailed Iranians as US Confirms Prisoner Swap.
- President Biden Takes Diplomatic Step, Imposes New Sanctions Amid Prisoner Exchange.
Washington, D.C. – The United States has officially confirmed a prisoner exchange with Iran, with President Joe Biden granting clemency to five Iranians who were incarcerated or facing trial for non-violent offenses.
In a diplomatic maneuver, seven U.S. citizens, including three identified individuals – Siamak Namazi, Morad Tahbaz, and Emad Sharqi – departed Iran on a Qatari plane, with the identities of two others kept anonymous.
Accompanying the released prisoners were the mother of Siamak Namazi and the wife of Emad Sharqi, both of whom are U.S. citizens. Remarkably, despite being U.S. citizens, they were previously prevented from leaving Iran, even though they were not subjected to imprisonment.
Tehran, in line with its policy, does not recognize dual nationality, asserting that all individuals of Iranian descent are its citizens.
President Joe Biden, while taking this politically challenging step, simultaneously imposed fresh sanctions on Iran’s intelligence ministry and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These sanctions come in response to allegations of deception surrounding the disappearance of Bob Levinson, a former FBI agent who vanished in Iran under perplexing circumstances and is presumed to be deceased.
A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated, “The United States will never give up on Bob Levinson’s case. We call on the Iranian regime to provide a comprehensive account of what transpired with Bob Levinson.”
Levinson had traveled to the Iranian island of Kish on a CIA mission, an event that Iran has not officially acknowledged.
The five Iranians who received clemency had all been charged or convicted of non-violent crimes. Two were serving prison sentences, with one individual’s sentence set to conclude soon, while three others were awaiting trial, according to a U.S. official.