Thu | Aug 17, 2017

US reporter among four prisoners freed

Published:Sunday | January 17, 2016 | 1:00 AM
In this Dec. 3, 2015 file photo, Ali Rezaian, far left, the brother of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, rallies with supporters to deliver a petition of 500,000 signatures to Iran's United Nations mission asking for the release of his brother from prison.

TEHRAN (AP):

Iranian state television yesterday announced that Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post reporter who has been held in an Iranian prison on spy charges for almost 18 months, was freed along with three other Iranian-Americans in a prisoner swap on the eve of the lifting of United States sanctions against Iran.

"Based on an approval of the Supreme National Security Council and the general interests of the Islamic Republic, four Iranian prisoners with dual-nationality were freed today within the framework of a prisoner swap deal," the office of Tehran prosecutor said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Also released were Amir Hekmati, Pastor Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi, according to Iranian State TV.

In Washington, a US official confirmed the release of four Americans, including Rezaian, who had been in jail since July 2014.

The 39-year-old American, who is a dual US-Iran citizen, was convicted last month of espionage in a closed-door trial.