Following the lifting of the sanctions, a prisoner swap had also occurred between the U.S. and Iran.
A plane carrying freed American prisoners have just arrived at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. It is believed that Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati as well as Christian pastor Saeed Abedini were on board the said aircraft. The Washington Post reports that the Swiss Air Plane that flew the freed Americans out of Iran was actually delayed for hours before being able to take off due to matters regarding the flight manifest and Rezaian’s mother, Mary Rezaian. Also as part of the prisoner swap, prisoner Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari has also been freed, but has decided to remain in Iran. Meanwhile, detained student Matthew Trevithick has also been released from Iran and has already reportedly left the country.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has confirmed that the sanctions against Iran has been lifted following the said country’s implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with regard to its nuclear program. Following this, President Obama issued a statement saying that Iran has now removed as much as two-thirds of its centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Moreover, more than 98 percent of its stockpiled enriched uranium has already been shipped out, making it quite impossible for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. The International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano has also said that its inspectors on the ground had verified that the country “has carried out all measures required under the JCPOA to enable Implementation Day to occur.”
Meanwhile, as part of the swap, the U.S. has agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of one Iranian national and six dual citizens of the U.S. The said men were found to have been ” “exporting high-tech microelectronics, uninterruptible power supplies and other commodities to Iran.” while violating trade sanctions against the country. the released prisoners include Bahram Mechanich, Tooraj Faridi, Khosrow Afghahi, Ali Saboonchi, Arash Ghahreman, Nader Madanloo and Nima Golestaneh. The products they had been exporting can reportedly be utilized for military purposes such as surface-to-air missiles and nuclear energy systems. These U.S. military microelectronics and power supplies were sent to an Iranian company that then sold the products to various customers, including sanctioned Iranian government agencies.