In a surprise development, Iran and United States swap high profile prisoners
DUBAI - In a surprise development, Iran and United States swap high profile prisoners.
The United States and Iran each freed a prisoner on Saturday in a rare swap, an act of cooperation between two longtime foes whose ties have worsened since President Donald Trump took office.
Trump said Xiyue Wang, a U.S. citizen held in Iran for three years on spying charges, was returning to the United States. An Iranian official said that Iranian Massoud Soleimani had been freed from detention in the United States.
A senior U.S. administration official said Washington was hopeful that Wang’s release would lead to the freeing of other Americans held in Iran and was a sign Tehran is willing to come to the table to talk about other issues.
Wang appeared to be in good health and humor, he said.
Switzerland facilitated the swap and Iranian state news agency IRNA said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif welcomed Soleimani in Zurich, where it said the swap took place. It said Soleimani was expected to return to Iran in the coming hours.