Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and three other Americans being held in Iran, have been released in a prisoner swap. The other released prisoners include Amir Hekmati a former U.S. Marine, and Pastor Saeed Abedini. All are dual citizens of the U.S. and Iran.
CNN’s Michael Smerconish broke the news at 9:33 a.m. ET. MSNBC had the news at 9:37 a.m. and Fox News broke in at 9:44 a.m.
Rezaian had been held for 17 months and was convicted of espionage charges last October.
Rezaian was arrested along with his wife, journalist Yeganeh Salehi, in July, 2014 a few days after Anthony Bourdain interviewed Rezaian and Salehi for his CNN show Parts Unknown. At the time, Bourdain described the interview as a positive conversation about the country’s history–and future. “There was no area at all–or hint of an area–of concern.”
The arrest, Bourdain said, left him “horrified. I just met and talked at length with a guy who was so positive about Iran. So positive about the possibilities for a better future.”
The Washington Post reports:
News of the exchange came as world leaders converged in Vienna in anticipation of the end of international sanctions against Iran in exchange for significantly curtailing its nuclear program. The nuclear agreement will take effect when the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran has met its commitments under the deal it signed last July with six global powers, including the United States.