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A Swiss plane carrying three US citizens landed in Germany
Image: picture alliance/dpa/M. Trezzini

Americans freed by Iran arrive in Germany

January 17, 2016

Three US citizens who were jailed in Iran - some for years - have been released and arrived at a US base in Germany. One of the prisoners released under the deal did not board the Swiss aircraft bound for Germany.

https://p.dw.com/p/1Hf68

An American official confirmed that three US citizens freed under a prisoner swap deal arrived at a US military base in Germany after making a stop in Switzerland (as pictured above).

"We can confirm that the US citizens who departed Iran this morning after being released from detention have arrived in Germany," said a US State Department official.

The announcement of their release was made Saturday by Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency.

The prisoners included Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, Nosratollah Khosravi and Jason Rezaian, the ex-Tehran bureau chief for the "Washington Post."

"Based on an approval of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and the general interests of the Islamic Republic, four Iranians prisoners with dual-nationality were freed today within the framework of a prisoner swap deal," the office of the Tehran prosecutor said in a statement Saturday.

However, US officials also confirmed that Nosratollah Khosravi, of whom little is know about, did not board the Swiss aircraft headed to Germany.

US President Barack Obama said their release was made possible through diplomatic efforts exerted during the Iran nuclear deal.

"When Americans are freed, that's something we can all celebrate," said Obama.

The freed Americans are to undergo medical care at a US military hospital by the Ramstein Air Base, 135 kilometers south west of Frankfurt.

ls/jlw (AFP, AP)

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