Aug. 15, 2023

Exclusive: Qatar to host Iran-US prisoner exchange, foot bill for asset conversion


After more than a year of indirect talks, Iran and the United States have agreed on a new prisoner swap. The deal entails Iran’s release of five Iranian-Americans held on security-related charges in exchange for the freeing of four Iranians detained by the US. Washington has also committed to allowing approximately 6B USD worth of Iranian assets frozen in South Korean banks to be made accessible to Tehran.

Informed sources have told that the Iranian-Americans have been taken to a hotel, where they will remain in house arrest until the swap. The exchange is expected to take place next month. The detainees are staying in separate rooms on a secured floor and can be visited by immediate family. They have also been given mobile phones with Internet access, with the ability to follow the news. Of note, the lawyer of Iranian-American business consultant Siamak Namazi—the prisoner who has been held the longest in Tehran—has stated that “at least four” of the five detainees will stay at the hotel.


The details of the arrangement

Speaking on condition of anonymity, senior diplomatic and government sources in the region have described the Iran-US deal as the outcome of tough negotiations involving a “mediation process” that took more than a year. has learned that Iran’s assets in South Korea will be transferred to Switzerland, where around...

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