US and Iran exchanged prisoners amid worst diplomatic and political relationships, a US official told on Saturday.
An American scholar held for three years on espionage charges in Iran has been released from prison and was flown out of the country in exchange for an Iranian biologist imprisoned in the United States, the official has said.
Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University graduate student, was conducting research in Iran when he was arrested in 2016. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison the following year and sent to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, WP reported.
Wang was exchanged for Massoud Soleimani, a stem cell researcher arrested last year on charges of sanctions violations. He was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 11, but the Justice Department dropped all charges against him, paving the way for his release.
According to WP, After the exchange was made in Switzerland, Wang was flown to a U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany, where U.S. physicians will examine him, a senior administration official said. Another official who spoke with Wang by telephone said he sounded in good health and spirits.
Trump thanked Iran on Twitter for what he called a “very fair negotiation” that led to the exchange. He said the swap showed the United States and Iran “can make a deal together”.