Iran annouces it has released four prisoners with dual Iranian-U.S. nationality as part of a prisoner swap, on “Implementation Day” of the Iran nuclear deal. Mana Rabiee reports.
Iran releases four Americans on implementation day of accord
“Implementation Day” of the Iran nuclear deal, and with it, dramatic news from Tehran that it’s freed four Iranian-Americans as part of a prisoner swap, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian.
The news comes as diplomats in Vienna await the release of a report from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, which is expected to give the formal go-ahead to start lifting the crippling sanctions, most of them immediately.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters today is a testament to diplomacy over threats of force, but also an important day for Iran’s economy.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER, MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, SAYING:
“All sanctions that are related to the nuclear issue will be removed and we will have a normal atmosphere of economic cooperation between Iran and the rest of the world.”
The report is expected to declare that Iran has indeed complied with a landmark accord set last year to scale back Tehran’s nuclear program.
It will trigger sanctions relief for a nation of some 80 million people who have been cut off from the global financial system, drastically reduced the exports of a major oil producer and imposed severe economic hardships on ordinary Iranians.
Iran’s Mehr news agency reports that executives from Shell and Total have already arrived in Tehran for talks on doing business.
Not since the end of the Cold War has a former pariah state made such a re-entry onto the global economic stage.
But “Implementation Day” of the nuclear deal also marks a turning point in the hostility between Iran and the United States that has shaped so much of the Middle East since 1979.