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Post reporter Jason Rezaian and others to be freed in prisoner swap, according to Iranian media

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therealbubbie

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VIENNA — Iran has released four imprisoned U.S. citizens, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, as part of a swap, the office of Tehran’s prosecutor announced Saturday, according to Iranian news media.

The other released prisoners include Amir Hekmat, a former U.S. Marine, and Saeed Abedni, a pastor--both imprisoned since 2012--and a fourth unnamed American. All four are dual U.S.-Iranian citizens. Rezaian has been held since 2014.

According to Iran’s Fars News Agency, the four were ordered released in exchange for six Iranian-Americans held in the United States on sanctions-related charges.

A statement by the prosecutor said that “based on an approval of the Supreme National Security Council and the general interests of the Islamic Republic, four Iranian prisoners with dual-nationality were freed today within the framework of a prisoner swap deal,” Fars reported.

There was no official confirmation from the United States. Kris Coratti, vice president of communications and spokeswoman for The Post, said that “while we are hopeful, we have not received any official word of Jason’s release.” News of the exchange came as world leaders converged here Saturday 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.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry flew from London to Vienna in the early afternoon local time. He went immediately into a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Coburg Palace Hotel, the scene of months-long final negotiations last summer that led to the deal between Iran and the world powers.
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