BREAKING: Biden admin approves prisoner swap with Iran, release of $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds

Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved the financial aspect of the deal last week.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
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On Monday, officials within the Biden administration announced that a deal had been reached between the United States and Iran

In exchange for the release of five American citizens held in Iran, five Iranians held in the US will be returned to their homeland. In addition, $6 billion in Iranian funds that had long been frozen will be given the green light to transfer as the Islamic regime sees fit.

According to the Associated Press, Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved the financial aspect of the deal last week, but it was only on Monday that Congress was informed. 

Monday also marked the first time the prisoner swap was mentioned. The United States will be receiving Siamak Namazi, Emad Sharghi, and Morad Tahbaz, as well as two others whose identities have not been released. 
 

"To facilitate their release," Blinken explained, "the United States has committed to release five Iranian nationals currently held in the United States and to permit the transfer of approximately $6 billion in restricted Iranian funds held in (South Korea) to restricted accounts in Qatar, where the funds will be available only for humanitarian trade."

The US currently imposes sanctions on foreign banks, barring them from facilitating transactions that are seen as beneficial to Iran. Under the terms of the deal, those sanctions would be waived.

Blinken suggested the move would be "in the national security interest of the United States," explaining that Iranian entities would still only be able to "transfer funds from accounts in the Republic of Korea to accounts in Switzerland and Germany and from accounts in Switzerland and Germany to accounts in Qatar, and to use the transferred funds for further humanitarian transactions in accordance with written guidance from the U.S. Government."

Biden himself has not commented on the matter, however, some have suggested the decision to allow Iranian funds to flow will be met with criticism.
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