2 out of 5 Iranians released in US prisoner swap deal arrive in Qatar
The five Iranians who were imprisoned in the United States have been released and 2 of them have arrived in the Qatari capital of Doha as part of a prisoner swap deal between Tehran and Washington.
The two Iranians heading home are Mehrdad Moein Ansari and Reza Sarhangpour.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kan'ani told his weekly presser on Monday that two of the detainees will be back home while two would stay in the US at their request. Another Iranian would join his family in a third country.
Meanwhile, under the agreement, five US detainees, who have just left Tehran aboard a Qatari plane, are scheduled to leave Doha for the US, the sources said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters late on Sunday, senior officials of US President Joe Biden's administration said Washington would keep up the pressure on Tehran by imposing fresh sanctions on former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Intelligence Ministry for their alleged involvement in the detention of US citizens.
Even so, they said the door for diplomacy over Iran's nuclear program was not entirely shut.
"If we see an opportunity, we will explore it but right now, I've really nothing to talk about," a senior administration official said on condition of anonymity.
Earlier on Monday, Secretary General of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi announced the release of five Iranians held in US prisons for years, saying two of them will arrive in Tehran via the Qatari capital.