Asia/Pacific

Iran names 5 prisoners it wants US to free in exchange for American detainees and frozen funds

As part of negotiations between the U.S. and Iran over the release of five American prisoners, Iran has named five prisoners it wants to see freed.

The Biden administration issued a blanket waiver last week allowing for the transfer of $6 billion of Iranian funds frozen in South Korea to a Qatari bank as part of the deal. Now, a spokesperson for the Iranian mission has confirmed the list of prisoners Iran wants released to The Associated Press.

According to The AP, these prisoners are Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, Mehrdad Ansari, Amin Hasanzadeh, Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani and Kambiz Attar Kashani. Some of the charges they have faced range from allegedly failing to register as a foreign agent while lobbying U.S. officials on issues like nuclear policy to unlawfully exporting laboratory equipment to Iran. 

Republicans have criticized the deal, with three top House Republicans accusing the Biden administration of reaching a secret nuclear understanding with Iran in a letter last month. They also called the deal dangerous for its release of the frozen Iranian funds.

“I want to get these Americans home more than anybody,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said last month. “But we have to go in [with] eyes wide open. [The] $6 billion that now is going to go into Iran [will] prop up their proxy war, terror operations, and their nuclear bomb aspirations.”

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

Tags Iran Joe Biden Michael McCaul prisoner swap Qatari South Korea

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