US prisoners fly out of Iran in swap deal
Five US detainees flew out of Iran yesterday in a swap for five Iranians held in the US under a rare deal brokered by Qatar between the arch enemies that also unfroze $6 billion of Tehran's funds.
A Qatari plane took off from Tehran carrying the five with two of their relatives, shortly after the US and Iran received confirmation that the funds had been transferred to accounts in Doha, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.
Iran's Press TV said two of the five Iranians to be released in the exchange had landed in Doha. There was no independent confirmation, though Iranian officials had said three of those to be freed by the US were not returning to Iran.
The funds' release triggered an exchange sequence agreed after months of talks between the United States and Iran, who are at odds over Tehran's nuclear ambitions and other issues.
The five Americans with dual nationality are due to fly to Doha and then on to the US "They are in good health," an Iranian official briefed on the process said.