Americans Released from Iran

After months of secret talks between the United States and Iran, five Americans have been released from Iranian custody.

The Americans were released in a prisoner swap between the country of Iran -- and this country. A pastor and a former marine - both spending more than three years in custody, along with a journalist who had spent a year and a half in jail, were among the American prisoners. They were arrested and detained for spying, amid other charges.

In exchange, the U.S. pardoned or reduced the sentences of an Iranian -- and six dual citizens of the United States and Iran.

Three of the people released are in a German hospital being checked, while American student Matthew Trevithick was also released -- not as part of the prisoner swap, and has left Iran. A fifth freed American prisoner has decided to stay in Iran.

As mentioned, one of the freed Americans, Jason Rezaian, is a journalist for the Washington Post newspaper. He was arrested by the Iranians on espionage, or spying charges.

As of December first of 2015, there were 199 journalists jailed worldwide because of their work. That’s according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. China and Egypt are among the countries holding the most imprisoned journalists, with 49 and 23 respectively.

Instructional Links

Website Article: Fact Monster: Iran

Website Article: BBC News, US-Iran relations: A brief guide


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