An American grad student who had been held in an Iranian prison for at least three years was eventually headed home Saturday after a prisoner swap between the 2 nations.
Xiyue Wang, 38, premiered in Switzerland in exchange for Iranian citizen Masoud Soleimani, that was being held at an Atlanta prison over accusations that he breached U.S. sanctions.
“We invite our Korean partners because of their help in hastening Mr. Wang’s launch with Iran,” said President Donald Trump at a statement confirming that the information. “The maximum priority of the USA is the security and well-being of its citizens. Freeing Americans held captive is of critical significance for my Administration, and we are going to keep working hard to bring home our taxpayers held captive abroad “
“Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will probably be linking their families soon,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif submitted on Twitter ancient Saturday before this swap.
He had been detained in August 2016 while carrying out a study on Iran’s Qajar dynasty because of his Ph.D., as stated by the college, his spouse and the U.S. government.
He had been convicted of 2 counts of espionage April 2017 and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. He was held in Evin Prison, the Tehran center that houses the majority of the nation’s political prisoners.
His spouse, Qu Hua, had labored together with Princeton attempting to win his launch no avail.
He was also missing out on observing their son mature, she explained, with last noticed the boy once he was just two years old.
The U.S. had called for his release.
Iran published a video in November 2017 of Wang allegedly attempting to smuggle documents. Then-State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert expressly denied Wang was functioning on behalf of any U.S. government bureau.
Qu afterward said she thought Iran knew her husband was a legitimate scholar and has been targeted due to his nationality.
“He is innocent and that he is merely a student,” she stated, including his arrest was a”sacrifice of this political scenario.”
Wang’s liberty came in trade for Soleimani, a medical research scientist who had been detained in October 2018. The U.S. accused Soleimani of violating sanctions against Iran by trying to export biological substances in the shape of human growth hormones without any consent.
The Pentagon said on Thursday the U.S. was devising strategies to possibly deploy more U.S. troops into the Middle East in response to a developing threat from Tehran.
Crushing sanctions enforced by President Donald Trump this past calendar year, after the unilateral withdrawal from Tehran’s atomic bargain with world forces, has left Iran with widespread economic discontent.
More lately, demonstrations have erupted throughout the nation in reaction to a 50 percent increase in gasoline rates. U.S. officials, together with human rights groups, stated as many as 1,000 Iranians have been murdered and tens of thousands more imprisoned because the protests started on Nov. 15.
Trump weighed on the protests Tuesday, stating in a tweet which”America supports the courageous people of Iran that are looking forward to their liberty.”