Who Are the Detainees Released by the U.S. and Iran?

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Iran has freed 5 Americans, portion the U.S. has agreed to unfreeze $6 cardinal successful Iranian assets and to disregard national charges against 5 imprisoned Iranians.

Three men wearing acheronian  sports coats locomotion  disconnected  an airplane.
From left, Emad Sharghi, Morad Tahbaz and Siamak Namazi aft arriving successful Doha, Qatar, connected Monday.Credit...Lujain Jo/Associated Press

Sept. 18, 2023Updated 12:48 p.m. ET

Five Iranian Americans detained by Iran were allowed to permission the country connected Monday, according to Iranian and White House officials, aft an statement was reached to escaped them successful instrumentality for the dismissal of national charges against 5 imprisoned Iranians and the unfreezing of $6 cardinal successful Iranian assets.

The Americans took disconnected successful a level from Tehran conscionable earlier 9 a.m. Eastern clip and were expected to alert to Doha, the superior of Qatar. Officials said that they would beryllium fixed little aesculapian checkups earlier flying to Washington connected a U.S. authorities plane. Several of the Iranian American prisoners, who clasp dual citizenship, had been moved from the notorious Evin situation to a edifice past month, according to officials astatine the State Department and the National Security Council.

The U.S. authorities had deemed the 5 wrongfully detained. Their merchandise comes aft much than 2 years of quiescent negotiations betwixt Washington and Tehran.

Here’s what we cognize astir the detainees who near Iran:

Siamak Namazi, 51, an Iranian American businessman, has go the American national that Iran has acknowledged imprisoning for the longest magnitude of time. He flew to Iran from his location successful Dubai, successful the United Arab Emirates, successful the summertime of 2015 to sojourn his parents and be a funeral, but was charged with “collaborating with a hostile government” — a notation to the United States.

The Iranian authorities aboriginal arrested Mr. Namazi’s father, Baquer Namazi, a elder retired U.N. official, erstwhile helium visited Iran to cheque connected his son. But the elder Mr. Namazi was allowed to permission Iran for health reasons past October aft being nether location arrest.

In January, Siamak Namazi begun a hunger strike successful a nonstop entreaty to President Biden to negociate for his release.

Emad Sharghi, 59, besides a dual Iranian American national and businessman, moved to Iran successful 2017 with his wife, Bahareh Amidi Shargi, aft their daughters near for college. The mates wanted to reconnect with the connection and the civilization of a spot they had some near arsenic children, and Mr. Sharghi started moving for an Iranian task superior fund.

A spouse astatine a institution successful Abu Dhabi leasing and selling backstage airplanes, Mr. Sharghi had explored concern opportunities with Iranian start-ups.

Mr. Sharghi was arrested successful 2018 and released aft an eight-month detention, but helium was not allowed to permission Iran. When helium tried to fly the state illegally successful 2020 helium was captured and sentenced to 10 years successful situation connected charges of collaboration with an force state.

Morad Tahbaz, 67, an Iranian American businessman who besides holds British citizenship, is simply a wildlife conservationist who co-founded the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the extortion of endangered animals successful Iran.

In 2018, helium was arrested on with 8 different employees of the enactment connected charges of “contacts with the U.S. government” and sentenced to 10 years successful prison. His wife, Vida, besides a U.S. citizen, was successful Iran astatine the clip of his detention and was barred from leaving the country. She is connected a level with him leaving Iran.

During his imprisonment, Mr. Tahbaz has suffered from prostate crab and contracted Covid-19 3 times, his girl Tara said successful an interview with Reuters successful April.

On Monday, the household said successful a connection that they were “overjoyed and relieved” that Mr. Tahbaz and his woman were connected their mode home. The household volition absorption connected the couple’s wellness and the “path to betterment of these mislaid years,” they said.

The 2 different detainees person remained unnamed astatine the petition of their families, the U.S. authorities has said. One is simply a idiosyncratic and businessman from California, detained astir a twelvemonth ago. The different is simply a pistillate who worked for humanitarian assistance groups successful Afghanistan and was arrested successful 2023. Her detention delayed the U.S.-Iran captive woody erstwhile the United States said that each American citizens indispensable beryllium included successful the swap, according to radical acquainted with the woody and Iranian media reports.

As portion of the deal, the U.S. authorities volition driblet charges against 5 Iranian nationals — though lone immoderate of them were held successful American jails.

According U.S. officials, 3 of the 5 Iranians declined to instrumentality to the country. One of them volition articulation his household successful a 3rd state and 2 volition stay successful the United States, the Iranian overseas ministry said.

Here is what we cognize astir them:

According to the Justice Department, Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, 65, a governmental idiosyncratic and author, was arrested successful 2021 astatine his location successful Watertown, Mass., connected charges of acting arsenic an unregistered cause of the Iranian government. Mr. Afrasiabi had portrayed himself arsenic an objective, neutral adept connected Iran to Congress, journalists and the American public, portion being a concealed worker of the authorities of Iran, John C. Demers, adjunct lawyer wide for nationalist security, said successful a connection astatine the time. At the clip of the agreement, helium was awaiting proceedings and had said publically that helium did not program to instrumentality to Iran.

Mehrdad Ansari, 42, was convicted successful 2021 and sentenced to 63 months successful situation for his portion successful a program to “obtain subject delicate parts” for Iran successful a usurpation of the Iranian commercialized embargo. The Justice Department said the instrumentality could person been utilized to trial systems including atomic weapons, rocket guidance and violative physics warfare.


Mehrdad Ansari, left, and Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani connected Monday successful Doha.Credit...Nour News, via Associated Press

Kambiz Attar Kashani, an Iranian American dual citizen, was sentenced to 30 months successful situation successful February 2023 for conspiring to illegally export U.S. goods and exertion to users including the Central Bank of Iran, an entity that supports organizations that the United States has designated arsenic violent groups. Mr. Kashani provided the cardinal slope and others with U.S. physics instrumentality and bundle that “enabled the Iranian banking strategy to run much efficiently, efficaciously and securely,” the Justice Department said, utilizing 2 companies successful the United Arab Emirates arsenic a front.

Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani, 48, an Iranian and Canadian national, was charged with exporting laboratory instrumentality to Iran successful 2021. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Mr. Kafrani failed to get a licence to export immoderate of the laboratory material, which is controlled for atomic nonproliferation reasons.

Mr. Kafrani exported the worldly done Canada and the United Arab Emirates, and was indicted by a U.S. expansive assemblage connected respective counts, including conspiracy and wealth laundering, the Justice Department said successful a statement astatine the time.

Amin Hasanzadeh, 46, an Iranian national, had been moving arsenic a hardware technologist successful Michigan and was charged successful 2019 with stealing confidential documents and method information from his employer. According to a criminal complaint filed successful U.S. District Court successful Michigan, Mr. Hasanzadeh emailed delicate documents to his brother, Sina Hasanzadeh, who had connections with Iranian companies “of proliferation concern,” including the Basamad Azma Company, which researchers person linked to Iran’s cruise rocket research.

Mr. Hasanzadeh had besides worked arsenic a probe module subordinate astatine Florida State University and conducted probe astatine a laboratory astatine the University of Maryland, according to the complaint, which said that an probe recovered that helium had served successful the Iranian subject — accusation that helium concealed connected migration documents, prosecutors alleged.

Farnaz Fassihi is simply a newsman for The New York Times based successful New York. Previously she was a elder writer and warfare analogous for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years based successful the Middle East. More astir Farnaz Fassihi

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