Addressing the nation during a rare weekend appearance, President Obama told reporters today [Sunday, January 17 2016] the implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal and five Americans recently freed by Tehran in a prisoner swap are reasons for optimism.
“This is a good day,” the President said. “Once again, we’re seeing what’s possible with strong American diplomacy.”
Four U.S. citizens were not only freed today, according to a senior administration official and their families, three of them are already on their way back home to the United States. A fifth American, Matthew Trevithick, had already left the country.
“They never gave in and they never gave up,” Obama said of Trevithick, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari (who chose to not leave for America with the others), Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati and pastor Saeed Abedini.
According to ABC News:
As part of the prisoner swap, the U.S. offered clemency to seven Iranians, six of whom are dual U.S.-Iranian citizens, who had been convicted or were awaiting trial in the U.S., said the official. The U.S. also removed Interpol red notices and dismissed charges against 14 Iranians for whom extradition was unlikely to be successful.
“These things are a reminder of what we can achieve when we lead with strength and wisdom,” Obama said.