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Iran announces release of dual-nationality prisoners

Iranian TV has announced the release of dual-nationality prisoners, including a Washington Post reporter. The statement came before world powers implemented last July's nuclear deal and lifted sanctions on Iran.

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency made the announcement on Saturday concerning four Iranian-American prisoners: Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Nosratollah Khosravi.

"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 office of the Tehran prosecutor announced.

A fifth American detained in Iran, a student identified as Matthew Trevitick, was also released in an unrelated move.

"I am very happy to say, as we speak, we have received confirmation that five Americans that have been unjustly detained in Iran have been released ... and they should be on their way home to their families before long," US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement at the end of talks with Iran in Vienna on Saturday.

US officials said the four Iranian-Americans were to be flown from Iran to Switzerland on a Swiss plane and then brought to a US military base in Landstuhl, Germany, for medical treatment.

Washington Post correspondent

Jason Rezaian (photo above with his Iranian wife, Yeganeh Saleh), is the Tehran correspondent for the "Washington Post."

Rezaian's case has been closely followed by US journalist and news host Montel Williams:

The wife of Saeed Abedini, an American pastor held as a prisoner in Iran, confirmed on Saturday that he had been released.

The United States has reportedly freed seven Iranian-Americans who were held on sanctions-related charges. They were named as Nader Modanlou, Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afqahi, Arash Ghahreman, Touraj Faridi, Nima Golestaneh and Ali Sabounchi.

Nuclear deal

Later on Saturday Iran and six world powers, led by the United States and including Germany, implemented July's nuclear deal and lifted the international sanctions imposed on Iran.

jm/sms (Reuters, AP)

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