Iran says its long-awaited prisoner swap with the United States will take place today. According to an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, the released money – a key element in a prisoner swap with the US – is in Qatar.
Qatar confirms to Reuters news agency that the money is in Doha, clearing the way for the prisoner swap between Iran and the United States. Both countries release five prisoners. In Iran, the five prisoners with dual American and Iranian nationalities are in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran.
The United States had frozen about $6 billion in Iranian bank assets. The money plays a key role in the prisoner swap between the United States and Iran. Last Tuesday, the US said it had cleared the way for the exchange by lifting the sanction. The money was in bank accounts that Iran had in South Korea, but is now in Qatar.
The money may only be used for humanitarian purposes. According to the Americans, there are sufficient guarantees that the money is not spent otherwise. Only when the prisoner exchange is final will the money go to Iran.
The US has no diplomatic ties with Iran. Iran says “a third country” mediated. A CNN source says Qatar, Oman and Switzerland have been involved in the negotiations.
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