US Makes Deal with Iran to Swap 5 American Prisoners for $6 Billion in Frozen Funds

The Biden administration reached an agreement with Iran to release $6 billion in frozen funds in exchange for the release of five American prisoners in Iran by issuing a blanket waiver allowing international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar without fear of US sanctions.

Furthermore, as part of the agreement, the administration agreed to release five Iranian individuals detained in the United States.


Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved the sanctions waivers late last week, a month after US and Iranian officials announced a deal in principle.


According to the notification acquired by The Associated Press, Congress was not informed of the waiver decision until Monday.


The basics of the agreement had previously been announced, and the waiver was expected. However, the statement represented the first time the administration stated that five Iranian prisoners will be released as part of the agreement. The detainees’ identities have not been revealed.


In a controversial bargain labeled as a ransom note by Republican critics, four of the five detainees were transferred from Iranian jails to house imprisonment in a hotel last month.


One was already under house arrest.


The waiver will boost the Iranian economy at a time when Iran poses a growing threat to U.S. troops and Mideast allies.


The waiver means that European, Middle Eastern, and Asian banks will not run afoul of U.S. sanctions in converting the money frozen in South Korea and transferring it to Qatar´s central bank, where it will be held for Iran to use for the purchase of humanitarian goods.


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