According to the Associated Press, Iran has announced, via state television, the release of 4 Iranian-American prisoners. The semi-official Fars News Agency reports that Jason Rezaian, a reporter for the Washington Post, is among them.
“Based on an approval of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and the general interests of the Islamic Republic, four Iranian prisoners with dual-nationality were freed today within the framework of a prisoner swap deal,” the Tehran prosecutor said in a statement.
As part of the deal, according Fars, the United States will free six Iranian-Americans being held for charges related to sanctions placed on Iran.
Those sanctions are due to be lifted today, once the United Nations nuclear agency declares that Iran has complied with agreements—part of the deal brokered between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif last year—to scale back its nuclear program.
Update – 1:15 pm
Bother American and Iranian officials have confirmed Rexaian’s release to the Washington Post. Separate from the exchange, Iran will also release a fifth American, Matthew Trevithick, a student detain in Tehran some months ago.
Not included in the deal was Siamak Namazi, a Dubai-based oil company executive who had promoted closer U.S.-Iranian ties, Iranian officials said. He was arrested in October while visiting a friend in Tehran. In addition, the fate of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in March 2007 during a visit to Iran’s Kish Island, remains unknown.
Namazi remains incarcerated because “his charges are financial, and not political,” Fars said.
Asked about Namazi and Levinson, U.S. officials in Vienna said that talks were continuing on their fate.
“Iran has also committed to continue cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson,” a U.S. official in Washington said.