Iran released Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and former US marine Amir Hekmati on January 16 as part of a prisoner swap, according to Iranian media. 

The Iranian judiciary announced the release of four US prisoners: Jason Rezaian, former marine Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari. The US State Department confirmed the news hours later, as did the prisoners’ lawyers.

The release took place on the same day that the nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers came into effect. 

The four were released as part of a prisoner exchange, in which seven Iranian-US dual nationals were released from prison in the United States. Six of the seven were awaiting trial for violating sanction regulations. 

Hekmati spent over four years in prison. Rezaian was arrested in July 2014 and was held without charge for several months. Both faced a string of serious charges, including espionage. Authorities arrested Abedini in 2012 after he converted to Christianity. They charged him with conspiracy against national security. 

Little is known about the fourth prisoner, Khosravi-Roodsari. 


Related article: Profile of Jason Rezaian 


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