IRAN DEAL: 7 American Hostages Freed; White House responds to criticism

By Anna Wilding on January 17, 2016

freed

WASHINGTON, DC (Herald de Paris) — ¬†7 American hostages were freed today, and are due home on Sunday, the result of diplomatic relations between White House Senior Administration offcials and Iranian officials.

During a call with Senior White House officials today, it became clear that the freeing of hostages was a two track process.  On the one hand the nuclear deal, that in essence allowed an opportunity for a second track to be set up by the White House to conduct negotiations with Iran to bring American hostages home.  The second track negotiations included  Iranian goverment officials who were also involved in the nuclear deal negoiations.

The common ground that was reached by both governments, in regard to the released American hostages, that they were to be non-violent offenders, such as those who had been arrested for breaching sanctions that had been put in place against Iran, anyway.

Responding to criticism from politcal candidates, that the President set a prescedent for groups being able able to kidnap an American in order to get terrorists released, the White House scoffed and said anyone saying that should just come out and just say that they think these 7 men, our American citizens, should stay in prison in Iran. “We saw an opportunity to bring our citizens home,” ¬†The officials conveyed that they were immensely happy that they were able to do that.

In a speech from the White House this morning the President said that, “We have been tireless. On the sidelines of the nuclear negotiations, our diplomats at the highest level, including Secretary Kerry, used every meeting to push Iran to release our Americans. ¬†I did so myself, in my conversation with President Rouhani. ¬†After the nuclear deal was completed, the discussions between our governments accelerated. ¬†Yesterday, these families finally got the news that they have been waiting for.” ¬†The hostages are due to touch down early Sunday afternoon. ¬†Jason Rezaian is flying with his mother and daughter.

The freed hostages are:

Jason Rezaian – A journalist for The Washington Post, who wrote about the daily lives and hopes of the Iranian people, he‚Äôs been held for a year and a half. Obama said ” He embodies the brave spirit that gives life to the freedom of the press. Jason has already been reunited with his wife and mom.

Pastor Saeed Abedeni – Held for three and half years, Obama decared that, “His unyielding faith has inspired people around the world in the global fight to uphold freedom of religion. ¬†Now, Pastor Abedini will return to his church and community in Idaho. ”

Amir Hekmati is also coming home.  A former sergeant in the Marine Corps, he’s been held for four and a half years.

Two other Americans unjustly detained by Iran have also been released — Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari and Matthew Trevithick, an Iranian — who was in Iran as a student. ¬†Obama pointed out that, “Their cases were largely unknown to the world. ¬†But when Americans are freed and reunited with their families, that‚Äôs something that we can all celebrate.”

Obama went on to give effusive thanks to, “Secretary Kerry; Susan Rice, my National Security Advisor; Brett McGurk; Avril Haines; Ben Rhodes, and the whole team who worked to bring Americans home.” Both the President and Senior White Houe Officials were deeply thankful to the Swiss government, who created a neutral space for negotiations to take place.



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